In a nail-biting encounter, Joe Choong pipped Ahmed Elgendy to the Olympic title, with the Egyptian winning silver and Republic of Korea's JUN Woongate bagging bronze.
Before today, GB men had not made the podium in the individual event at the modern pentathlon – they have now. Joe Choong went into the final laser-run combined discipline in the lead after completing the swimming, fencing and riding rounds to lead the field on 859 points. Republic of Korea’s JUNG Jinhwa (847), Czech Republic’s Jan Kuf (838) and Jung’s compatriot JUN Woongate (831) lined up behind him in the staggered laser-run, which is based on the points scored on the first three rounds. Choong’s teammate and former world champion Jamie Cooke was ninth overall still with a chance of making the podium in the combined laser-run event.
Choong, the world number one, set off 12-seconds ahead of the chasing pack on the laser-run in which athletes must complete four circuits shooting five targets from a distance of 10m within 50 seconds using a laser pistol, and running 800m. By the end of the first circuit, Choong's lead had been cut in half by the Korean duo, with Kuf also in the mix.
Egypt's Ahmed Elgendy had an incredible shoot on the third circuit, catching up with the chasing trio. By the fourth shoot, Elgendy had emerged ahead of the threesome even arriving at the range the same time as Choong. Elgendy was on the Brit's shoulder leaving the last shoot and heading into the final 800m run, taking a brief lead before Choong engaged an extra gear to pull away in the final moments to claim gold.
Elgendy claimed silver, the first modern pentathlon medal won by an African athlete at an Olympic Games. World number one Choong, meanwhile, laid to rest the ghost of Rio 2016 when he started the event in the silver medal position but ended up off the podium.
Jun finished in bronze medal position for Republic of Korea with Jung just out of the medals in fourth. Jung finished fifth, Kuf was eighth, with Cooke staying in ninth.