Despite missing out on a berth in the finals of the 2010 Modern Pentathlon Senior World Championships held in Chengdu, China, last week, Sydney University athlete Ed Fernon still has the 2012 London Olympic Games in his sights.


Fernon, a Sydney University Sports Scholarship holder and MComm student, finished 25th in Pool C of the championships, missing out on the finals, which included the top 12 from each Pool.


Russian Serguei Karyakin, 22, caused an upset in winning the 50th running of the Senior World Championship. Karyakin, the 2008 World Junior Champion who had never won a major senior international event was the most consistent athlete, finishing 2nd in the fencing, 9th in the swim and gained a perfect score of 1200 in the riding event. That gave him a nine-second lead going in the combined event which he won comfortably to take the title. Fellow Russian Aleksander Lesun won the silver, with Lithuanian Justinas Kinderis winning the bronze.


The modern pentathlon includes five events: pistol shooting, epee fencing a 200m freestyle swim, show jumping and a 3km cross-country run. Except for the fencing competition, athletes do not compete directly against one another. Instead, a better absolute performance results in a higher score, with points for each event combined to give the overall total scores.


After winning the 2009 Australian pentathlon championship, Fernon moved onto the international stage this year, training and competing in two World Cup events in a two-month stay Europe before tackling the World Championships in China.


He made the semi-finals of the Berlin World Cup event on June 4, the first time he lined up in a senior World Cup event. In what was a great learning experience, he finished 26th out of 29 athletes with a four-event score of 3896 points. Only the top 12 athletes moved through to the final.


Fernon then trained in Hungary before returning to Germany for another Senior Open competition in Berlin on June 26-27, when he finished 11th of 29 competitors. His solid swim of 2m 17s and combination event time of 12 minutes, along with a clear round and win in the ride, gave him an overall score of 5190 points.

“Ultimately, I would like to make the 2012 London Olympics, but there is always a large scale for error in the pentathlon,” Fernon, a University Blue, said after winning the Australian title last year.


He has been working towards perfecting all of his events by training closely with Sydney University Sport and Fitness head coaches.

“Being part of the Elite Athlete Program at Sydney University Sport has been fantastic,” he said. “It has put me in contact with a lot of specialised coaches. And it has helped me with travel grants so that I could compete overseas.”