Hungarian Adam Marosi and Belarusian Anastasiya Prokopenko were crowned world champions over the weekend at the 2021 UIPM World Championships in Cairo, Egypt, both earning their second career world titles at 35 years or older, the oldest pair since at least the turn of the century to jointly win. Pernille Svarre of Denmark won world gold at 38 years old in 2000, but her male counterpart winner that year, Andrejus Zadneprovskis of Lithuania, was 25 at the time.
Marosi scored 1435 points to win gold in the men's competition in Cairo, defeating Alexander Lifanov (1426), representing the Russian Olympic Committee, and the host nation's Ahmed Elgendy (1417). Prokopenko tallied 1353 to outperform 2016 Olympic silver medalist Elodie Clouvel (1341) of France and Hungarian Michelle Gulyas (1339).
Marosi, 36, last stood atop the world podium at 25 years old — he won the individual title at the 2009 World Championships in London. The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist suddenly finds himself again among the world's best a decade later, currently No. 1 in both UIPM's latest world and Olympic Games rankings, and a favorite to win in Tokyo.
Prokopenko, 35, won the individual world title in 2018 after taking bronze the year prior. She's currently the No. 4 modern pentathlete in the world and Olympic Games rankings. This year's bronze medalist Gulyas, 20, is first on both lists, giving her a slight edge heading into Tokyo.
Belarus has now won the women's individual world title in three straight world championships.
In Cairo, title-winner Marosi showed the most strength in fencing (256) and riding (300), scoring the second-most points among all competitors in those two phases. Lifanov was the top fencer (262), Austria's Gustav Gustenau the top swimmer (310), Czech Republic's Marek Grycz the top rider (300) and Elgendy the top laser-runner (624).
Prokopenko was first in both fencing (246) and laser-running (581). Clouvel was the top swimmer (292) and Germany's Janine Kohlmann the top rider (300).
Hungary has the world's top two pentathletes in Marosi and Gulyas. The nation has 21 Olympic medals in modern pentathlon — 13 in the men's individual event, one in the women's individual event, which debuted at the 2000 Sydney Games, and seven in the discontinued men's team event, which ceased after Barcelona. The central European country hasn't won an Olympic gold since Zsuzsanna Voros' 2004 victory in the Athens' women's competition, and its four Olympic champions on the men's side were crowned in 1988, 1972, 1964 and 1960.
U.S. Olympic qualifier Sammy Schultz (née Achterberg) was the top American male or female placing 25th overall.
Marosi, Elgendy, Clouvel and Gulyas all earned automatic quota places for the Tokyo Olympics. The championships were the final auto-qualification opportunity available to athletes.
The event was initially supposed to take place in Minsk, Belarus, but due to "instability" in that region a decision was made in January to move the races to Cairo.