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Riccardo emerges new men's UIPM Champion of Champions.

Vinay Nayudu Doha Riccardo De Luca, a police officer back home in Italy and a modern pentathlete of high pedigree, worked his way superbly at the Qatar Foundation Recreation and later at Al Shaqab equestrian arena to clinch the UIPM Champion of Champions title in Doha on Sunday. De Luca, who had finished fifth at the 2016 and 2012 Olympics and won a team gold medal at the 2012 World Championships, has won only two titles in this competition including the one in Doha. Consistency was the key to the 31-year-old's top show as the tall and well-built De Luca challenged defending champion Patrick Dogue of Germany and ensured that he kept him at bay. The Italian never went off course in any of the five disciplines of fencing, swimming, riding, shooting and running. The effort saw him collect a total of 1403 points, nine points more than silver winner Dogue (1394). Frenchman Valentin Belaud, who had won a silver in Doha in 2016, had to be content with the bronze this time following a poor start in fencing. He ended up with a cumulative of 1369 points. De Luca was delighted on being crowned the Champion of Champions and credited the exceptional organisation and conduct of the event for his success. "The conduct of the event was professional and the venues are spectacular. I really like to come here and compete. Everything worked for me very well since the travel, food, stay and the competition were all so good. It helped me concentrate. "I did nice fencing today to begin with and then I tried to stay focused. I backed myself and believed in my overall abilities and the dream of winning the title has come true," he said. Aiming for an encore, Dogue wasn't as lucky this time flipping at the very beginning. The 6',6" tall German, twice a national champion and who finished 6th at the 2016 Rio Games had a lot of catching up to do and he did excel in riding and the combined event but it wasn't enough to match De Luca's tally. "I didn't have a good round in fencing and that left me kind of nervous, but I managed to do well in the next rounds. I swam well, my riding was good and I knew I could make more points in the combined event. In the end, I'm happy to have won the silver," he said. The story was somewhat similar for Belaud too, who had a disastrous fencing score and tried hard to better it in other disciplines. He was the best in the combined event of shooting and running (Laser-Run) where he collected 590 points. But he was still left a bit behind in the overall tally and had to be content with the bronze finish. He was all beaming though."So now I have won a silver and a bronze in Doha. Next time I want to win the gold here," he said. "It's still a good finish for me. My swim was okay, my fencing was very bad. I had very good horse riding and combined event. In riding show jumping I had no faults and my horse Black Decker stood out. Quite happy finishing third," he added. The fourth edition of UIPM Champion of Champions in Qatar was attended by top 38 pentathletes from all over the world in the men's and women competition. Event Director and an Olympian himself, Ali al Rumaihi was pleased with the organisation and said that there will be more Qatari and regional athletes' participation in the competition next year. "We already have a request from a Kuwait athlete to compete in this competition and we shall be happy to have him. We will also have a few Qataris competing alongside these top athletes," said Rumaihi. Results UIPM Champions of Champions, Doha. Men's Competition 1. Riccardo De Luca (Italy): Fencing (257pts), swimming (287), riding (294), laser-run (565). Total Points: 1403 2. Patrick Dogue (Germany): Fencing (231), swimming (287), riding (300), laser-run (576). Total: 1394 3. Valentin Belaud (France): Fencing (193), swimming (289), riding (297), laser-run (590). Total: 1369 4. Daniele Colasanti (Italy): Fencing (231), swimming (290), riding (300), laser-run (545). Total: 1366.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Oct 23, 2017
Words:716
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