Eanna Bailey a past-pupil of RNS made history in the USA on February 24th where when he and Natalya Coyle from Meath won Ireland’s first ever medal at a World Cup competition. The pair claimed Silver in the Mixed Relay event of the modern pentathlon in Palm Springs, California. At present Eanna as well as being an elite athlete is studying Environmental Science on a full time basis in DCU.
Modern Pentathlon is a sport comprising five phases, epee fencing, swimming, showjumping and a combined running and shooting event
On the competition day in Palm Springs both Bailey and Coyle produced an excellent display in the fencing to score 31 victories and 21 defeats for 910 pentathlon points and a share of thirdplace on the leader board. Moving onto the swim, where Eanna posted a fantastic 100m split of sub 55seconds to claim third place in the pool for the Irish team. Their score of 1340 pentathlonpoints kept them in third spot heading to the riding event. Coyle, riding “Mo”, knocked one rail while Bailey went clear on “Leap” and their points score of 1116 was enough for second place in the riding event. A zero score for the Russian team saw the Irish move up the leader board to second place before the final run/shoot event.
Hungary started the handicapped run shoot race in 1st place with Ireland following at 18 seconds and the Chinese team in 3rd. A nervy start from Coyle saw her spend 22 seconds on the range forthe first shoot series. Strong running kept the Chinese team distant coming into the range for the second shoot. Another uncharacteristically anxious shoot from Coyle meant the gap to the chasing pack closed a little but Coyle kept a decent gap over the last 800m to the change over. Bailey, showing no signs of nerves, cleared his first shoot series in 9.4 seconds and his second in 11.7, ensuring the chasing pack kept their distance and Bailey powered home to claim the Silver medal behind theHungarian team in Gold with the Ukraine’s overhauling China to take the bronze.
Eanna had also competed in the individual event in the preceding days where he qualified through the semi finals to the men’s final which was held on Friday 22nd Feb. He placed 15th in this competition and was the only athlete to have a clear round in the showjumping. He will miss World Cup 2 in Rio and has returned to training in Ireland to prepare for his next competition; World Cup 3 in China.