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Modern Pentathlon at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games:

Men's Individual

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Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Dynamo Shooting Range, Mytishchi; Football Fieldhouse, CSKA Sports Complex, Moskva; Swimming Pool, Olympiysky Sports Complex, Moskva; Trade Union's Equestrian Complex, Bitsevsky Park, Moskva
Date Started: July 20, 1980
Date Finished: July 24, 1980
Format: Scoring by point tables.

Gold: URS Anatoly Starostin
Silver: HUN Tamás Szombathelyi
Bronze: URS Pavel Lednyov

Summary

The United States had won team medals in modern pentathlon in 1956, 1960, and 1964. But by the mid-1970s they were no longer as strong a team. However, in 1979, the World Championship was won by Bob Niemann (USA) and the US won the team title by a very narrow seven-point margin. Because of the American-led boycott, he would not be able to compete, which left the individual event open. The defending champion, Poland’s Janusz Pyciak-Peciak was back and had been silver medalist at the Worlds in 1978-79. Also back was the 1976 Olympic silver medalist, Pavel Lednev, who had won his fourth World title in 1978. Lednev had wanted to retire after 1976, but was asked by Soviet authorities to continue. He was coming off an injury and had not competed in 1979.

The competition eventually came down to Lednev and his young teammate, Anatoly Starostin, and Hungary’s Tamás Szombathelyi. Szombathelyi led after the fencing and shooting, but Starostin moved into the lead after the 300 metre freestyle swim. Lednev was third after the shooting but a poor swim dropped him to seventh. Starostin held onto his lead with a solid cross-country run and won the gold medal. Szombathelyi placed second, while Lednev’s good run brought him a bronze medal. The run was held on a very hot day with temperatures of 31° C. (88 ° F.)

This was the fourth consecutive Olympics at which Lednev had medaled in the individual event – bronze in 1968, 1972, and 1980 and a silver in 1976. Added to this were three team medals, including two golds, giving him seven medals in all, the most ever by an Olympic pentathlete. Lednev followed in the footsteps of his former teammate, Igor Novikov. Together they had won eight World Championships in the individual event, but neither was ever able to garner an Olympic individual gold. Starostin’s gold medal was the first win ever for the Soviets in the individual competition. Starostin was still a junior and would win the Junior World Championship in 1981. In 1986 he was caught with a doping positive for a β-blocker, but would return to compete for the Unified Team in 1992.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal PTS
1 Anatoly Starostin 20 Soviet Union URS Gold 5,568
2 Tamás Szombathelyi 27 Hungary HUN Silver 5,502
3 Pavel Lednyov 37 Soviet Union URS Bronze 5,382
4 Svante Rasmuson 24 Sweden SWE 5,373
5 Tibor Maracskó 31 Hungary HUN 5,279
6 Janusz Pyciak-Peciak 31 Poland POL 5,268
7 Lennart Pettersson 29 Sweden SWE 5,243
8 Milan Kadlec 21 Czechoslovakia TCH 5,229
9 George Horvath 20 Sweden SWE 5,229
10 Heikki Hulkkonen 25 Finland FIN 5,227
11 Jan Olesiński 23 Poland POL 5,219
12 Paul Four 24 France FRA 5,196
13 Ivar Sisniega 22 Mexico MEX 5,186
14 Yevgeny Lipeyev 22 Soviet Union URS 5,176
15 Danny Nightingale 26 Great Britain GBR 5,168
16 Jan Bártů 25 Czechoslovakia TCH 5,158
17 Pierpaolo Cristofori 24 Italy ITA 5,156
18 Marek Bajan 23 Poland POL 5,147
19 László Horváth 34 Hungary HUN 5,131
20 Joël Bouzou 24 France FRA 5,107
21 Peter Whiteside 28 Great Britain GBR 5,085
22 Dumitru Spîrlea 29 Romania ROU 5,058
23 Alain Cortes 28 France FRA 5,042
24 Jussi Pelli 25 Finland FIN 5,032
25 Federico Galera 27 Spain ESP 5,001
26 Bohumil Starnovský 26 Czechoslovakia TCH 4,952
27 Gyula Galovici 24 Romania ROU 4,935
28 Simeon Monev 23 Bulgaria BUL 4,915
29 José Serrano 23 Spain ESP 4,887
30 Nikolay Nikolov 26 Bulgaria BUL 4,832
31 Pekka Santanen 22 Finland FIN 4,828
32 Manuel Montesinos 22 Spain ESP 4,811
33 Nigel Clark 24 Great Britain GBR 4,809
34 Borislav Batikov 21 Bulgaria BUL 4,798
35 Alexander Topay 24 Austria AUT 4,784
36 Jens Lohmann 24 Mexico MEX 4,747
37 Robert Barrie 28 Australia AUS 4,696
38 Helmut Wieser 26 Austria AUT 4,582
39 Jerome Hartigan 22 Ireland IRL 4,557
40 Brian Newth 33 New Zealand NZL 4,486
41 Cezar Răducanu 22 Romania ROU 4,397
42 Sackville Currie 24 Ireland IRL 4,377
43 Mark Hartigan 24 Ireland IRL 4,361