Modern pentathlon competition kicks off at Asian Games

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The modern pentathlon competitions of the Hangzhou Asian Games commenced on Wednesday at the Fuyang Silver Lake Sports Center in Hangzhou. The Chinese women's team, led by Jakarta Asian Games champion Zhang Mingyu, is vigorously pursuing the championship.

The individual fencing round-robin matches for both men and women were held on Wednesday. After the women's fencing round-robin, China's Bian Yufei provisionally secured the top position with 265 points. South Korea's Kim Sun-woo and Kim Se-hee claimed the second and third spots, respectively. Zhang found herself in sixth place temporarily, while the other two Chinese athletes, Xie Linzhi and Zhong Xiuting, ranked eighth and 11th, respectively.

Bian, 31, credited her leading position to her mentality, stating: "I have a mindset that treats it as a fun game, given that there are many Asian players to compete with. This allows me to fully immerse myself in the game and perform at my best. In the past, I struggled because I paid too much attention to my opponents. Today, I focus on my own performance, give my best, and let the outcome unfold naturally."

In the men's individual fencing round-robin, 27-year-old South Korean Lee Ji-hun secured the top spot with 264 points. Kazakh veteran Pavel Ilyashenka claimed second place with 250 points, while China's Li Shuhuan, 26, ranked third with 243 points. Among other Chinese modern pentathletes, Zhang Linbin and Chen Yan secured the sixth and seventh positions, respectively, while Luo Shuai placed 11th.

Due to the rules stipulating that the women's group had fewer than 20 athletes, the originally scheduled women's semifinals on Thursday will be canceled. The men's individual fencing competition, swimming, and laser running will take place on Friday, with gold medals awarded in the men's and women's individual and team events on Sunday.

The modern pentathlon comprises shooting, fencing, swimming, equestrian, and running and was introduced as an official Olympic event during the 1912 Stockholm Games. Over time, it evolved to combine running and shooting into combined running shooting, replacing the traditional air pistol with a laser pistol, and adopting the name "laser running."

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