June 24 (Reuters) - Five modern pentathletes to watch out for at the Tokyo Olympics:
VALENTIN PRADES (FRANCE)
Valentin Prades may be recognised as one of the best modern pentathletes of his generation but for all his success the Frenchman is best remembered for throwing away the 2018 world championship, celebrating as he approached the finish line only to be beaten home by Britain’s James Cooke. Prades has also been haunted by a fourth place finish at the Rio Olympics and the 28-year-old Frenchman heads to Tokyo eager to put a golden shine on his career.
KATE FRENCH (BRITAIN)
It is known as modern pentathlon but Kate French prefers the old ways when it comes to her sport and the Briton has hinted the Tokyo Olympics may be her last because of the revolutionary changes in format the sport will undergo at the 2024 Paris Games. If these Olympics are French’s last, she enters as one of the gold medal favourites following a string of strong performances including a win at the 2021 World Cup final.
ANASTASIYA PROKOPENKO (BELARUS)
An extra year for the COVID-19 delayed Tokyo Olympics will not bother Anastasiya Prokopenko. After finishing fourth at the 2008 Beijing Games Prokopenko waited a decade to be elevated to the bronze medal in 2018 after Ukraine’s Viktoriya Tereshchuk was disqualified for doping. The 35-year-old Belarusian will be counting on a more direct route to the podium as one of the favourites for gold after winning the world championships in June.
ADAM MAROSI (HUNGARY)
Adam Marosi shot back into the Olympic medal picture in June when he turned back the clock by winning his second world title 12-years after his first. It could be a promising omen for the 36-year-old Hungarian who followed up his 2009 world title with an Olympic bronze at the 2012 London Summer Games.
LAURA ASADAUSKAITE (LITHUANIA)
Laura Asadauskaite heads to Tokyo bidding to add one more Olympic medal to the family trophy case in what is expected to be the 37-year-old’s competition swan song. The family Olympic haul includes a gold from Asadauskaite at the 2012 London Summer Games while her husband Andrejus Zadneprovskis took a silver at the 2004 Athens Games and a bronze four years later in Beijing. (Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Toby Davis)