Rio Olympics 2016: Sydney’s Chloe Esposito claims gold in modern pentathlon - NEWS SENTRY


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Rio Olympics 2016: Sydney’s Chloe Esposito claims gold in modern pentathlon

Four years of struggle have inspired Australia’s Chloe Esposito to a shock gold medal-winning performance in the modern pentathlon.

Chloe Esposito

It’s a huge achievement for Esposito, who after finishing seventh at the London Olympics felt burnt out and contemplated a break from the sport.

Trained by her father Daniel, a 1984 Olympian in the modern pentathlon, Esposito decided to persevere with training and set her sights on Rio.

And what a decision it was, with Esposito’s dedication ensuring Australia at least equals the tally of gold medals won at the London Olympics.

“I was just thinking of all the hard training I’ve put in in the past four years,” she said. “It’s been a tough road.”

Esposito staged a massive comeback to win, set an Olympic record, and claim an historic first ever medal for Australia in the event.

She was smiling as she turned into the last straight at Deodoro Stadium and in the moments after her win the 24-year-old could not contain her joy.

Tears flowed as she celebrated with her father and coach.

Also emotional was Australia’s chef de mission in Rio, Kitty Chiller, who is a former modern pentathlete and watched the finish from the grandstand.

Esposito’s win comes after she and her father as well as her younger brother Max, who will make his Olympic debut in the men’s event on the weekend, moved to Hungary three years ago, principally to improve her fencing.

Esposito was confident she had a chance at gold. She’s a strong runner whose shooting accuracy ensured her victory. She missed only one of 21 targets over the four laps.

She focused on the process, she says, rather than worrying about the result.

“I didn’t want to think about that… think about medals or anything,” she said.

She surged from seventh all the way to first in the final leg of running and shooting.

Esposito’s time of 12:10.19 resulted in an Olympic record 1372 points.

She beat Elodie Clouvel of France’s for victory, with Poland’s Oktawia Nowacka coming third.

Esposito’s triumph is Australia’s eighth gold medal of the Rio 2016 Olympics and comes as a welcome surprise on a day of disappointment in both the BMX and men’s basketball for the nation.

Esposito rose to third place by the second shooting round.

And she then cruised past her opposition to take the lead in the final run.

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