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Aleksandr Lesun brings home gold in modern pentathlon

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Aleksandr Lesun won gold in Rio in the men's individual modern pentathlon.


This victory was four years in the making for the Russian pentathlete who was denied the podium in London.


He had been in third place overall but finished 25th in the combined run and shoot event that year. That was enough to be nudged out of third by Hungary's Adam Marosi who took the bronze prize.


This time Lesun left little doubt.


The World Championships winner in 2012 and 2014 took the early lead on the first day of the pentathlon when he scored an Olympic record 268 points in the fencing ranking round.


Despite finishing 22nd in the 200m freestyle, Lesun maintained his first place lead throughout the second day.


With the luxury of no handicap start in the final event, Lesun took advantage. Great Britain's Joseph Choong kept pace early but he fell behind and from the pack emerged 2015 world champion Ukrainian Pavlo Tymoshchenko who took silver.


Tymoshchenko made it close in the end, he missed out on gold by 7 seconds, but the 28-year-old Lesun wouldn't be denied his chance at the top spot.


"I [was] really upset (about London), but I tried to be calm and do the same thing," Lesun told the AP in Rio.


This is Russia's first medal in the pentathlon since 2008 when Andrei Moiseyev won his second consecutive gold medal.


Tymoshchenko makes history for Ukraine as he is the first man to earn a medal in the pentathlon for his country. Viktoria Tereschuk won bronze on the women's side in 2008.


"I came here not just [to] participate, I came here for a medal," Tymoschenko told the AP. "There was some pressure, but last year I had my biggest achievement winning the world championship, so it was OK here in the Olympic Games."


Mexico's Ismael Marcelo Hernandez Uscanga finished in third, narrowly beating out Frenchman Valentin Prades and Italian Riccardo De Luca for the final spot.


Hernandez Uscanga's finish gives Mexico its first ever medal in the modern pentathlon.


Defending gold medalist Dave Svoboda finished in ninth place and American Nathan Schrimsher finished just two spots behind him.



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