NATALYA COYLE IS the first Irish athlete to qualify for the Olympics in modern pentathlon, following confirmation by the world governing body, the Union International de Pentathlon Modern, yesterday.
“To qualify for the Olympics really is a dream come true. I’ve worked so hard to get there and now I’m excited to get a good block of training done in the run up to the competition,” Coyle said.
The 21-year-old Meath athlete, who only started participating in the sport on an international level in 2009, will compete in modern pentathlon’s centenary Olympic competition in London 2012.
Performance Director Lindsey Weedon added:
“Natalya’s qualification is not only a result of all her hard work and dedication but it’s been a massive team effort. Our High Performance Programme only began in 2010 and to have made such phenomenal progress in just two years is testament to all those who have helped us out along the way.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland Joe Walsh said many people deserved praise for Coyle’s qualification.
“Pentathlon Ireland is an entirely voluntary organisation and its officers have achieved something remarkable. In addition, Natalya started her athletic career through the Tetrathlon discipline in the Irish Pony Club and they deserve huge credit for this too. The support of the Irish Sports Council and the Olympic Council of Ireland has also been vital.”