New Asian champion Kim Sehee of Korea led a group of six athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the opening day of the Asia & Oceania Championships and Olympic Qualifier in Wuhan (CHN).
Jim (KOR) won gold by 8sec from silver medallist Natsumi Tomonaga (JPN), with her compatriot Kim Sunwoo (KOR) securing bronze a further 14sec behind.
With only one Tokyo 2020 qualification available to each nation, champion Kim Sehee claimed the place for Korea ahead of Kim Sunwoo and 4th-placed Jeong Mina.
The other three Olympic qualification spots for Asian athletes were claimed by Alise Fakhrutdinova of Uzbekistan (5th), Zhang Mingyu of China (6th) and Elena Potapenko of Kazakhstan (12th).
There was also one place in the Tokyo line-up for the highest finisher from Oceania, and it was Rebecca Jamieson of New Zealand who claimed the prize after coming home 13th, seven places ahead of Marina Carrier of Australia.
The Rio 2016 Olympic champion, Chloe Esposito (AUS), will be aiming to earn the right to compete at her third Games through the Olympic qualification rankings next year.
The full list of successful qualifiers on day one of the Asia/Oceania Championships and Olympic Qualifier, subject to the UIPM Tokyo 2020 qualification system, are:
Only two of the six – Tomonaga (JPN) and Potapenko (KAZ) – have previously competed at an Olympic Games, heralding the arrival of a new wave of talent in Asia and Oceania determined to seize the opportunity to compete in a ‘local’ Olympics in the capital of Japan.
Zhang (CHN) only turned 18 last month, having been a surprise gold medallist at the Asian Games in Jakarta (INA) in 2018.
The six new qualifiers joined 28 athletes from the Africa, Europe and NORCECA and South America regions who performed well in their continental championships earlier in 2019, as well as six who qualified courtesy of their finishing positions at the UIPM 2019 Pentathlon World Cup Final and UIPM 2019 Pentathlon World Championships.
Tomorrow (November 12) another six qualifiers will be confirmed for the men’s Modern Pentathlon at Tokyo 2020, taking the overall total of qualifiers to 46, with only 26 places remaining to be allocated in 2020.