Posted: 05.06.2024 09:55:00

There is only one moment — grab it!

Mariya Gnedtchik has stormed into the world elite of modern pentathlon

Mariya Gnedtchik, Belarusian pentathlete  Denis Kostyuchenko

“My dream is to win an Olympic gold, no less. Obviously, I want to win at the World Cup and European Championships, but the major goal is to win the Olympics. So if I do get to Paris, I will try to make my dream come true there. And then, repeat it at the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Olympics. Why not?” When Mariya Gnedtchik shared her plans almost a year ago, one might think that the girl had a bit too much optimism. It was autumn, and Belarusian pentathletes were still banned from participating in international competitions by the UIPM. In other words, the mere possibility of qualifying for the Olympics was very dubious. However, Mariya believed that everything would work out. Thus, as soon as she got a chance to compete for a coveted ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympics, she jumped at it.

Mariya Gnedtchik’s debut at the World Cup has taken place this season, at the stage in Cairo, Egypt. The first start was not particularly successful — the Belarusian pentathlete took 17th place. However, already at the next stage of the tournament in Ankara, Türkiye, Mariya rounded out the top five. At UIPM 2024 Pentathlon World Cup in Budapest, the Minsk resident pentathlete delivered a brilliant and inspiring performance. At first, she confidently overcame qualification and did well in fencing in the final, although not very well in swimming and showjumping. Despite the fact that before the final event — laser run — Mariya was almost half a minute behind her rivals, she managed to erase the deficit and crossed the finish line with an advantage of eight seconds over the nearest competitor. Back then, Gnedtchik took a massive stride towards qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, having secured a place in the top 5 of the Olympic Qualification Ranking. Moreover, she has recently topped the ranking list by winning a silver award in the World Cup final.  
The 18 best athletes competed for the victory in the decisive stage. Mariya Gnedtchik showed the ninth result in fencing, after which she earned the maximum number of points in showjumping, and had the 17th time in swimming. Before the final discipline of the competition, the Belarusian was in the middle of the protocol, more than 30 seconds behind the leader. Mariya coped with her best event with flying colours and took second place, having lost only to the experienced Lithuanian pentathlete, Gintarė Venčkauskaitė. The World Cup is over, yet pentathletes will have an equally important and responsible start on June 9th–16th — the 2024 World Modern Pentathlon Championships, which will be held in Zhengzhou, China, and which will also become a qualification stage for the Olympic Games in Paris. 
Mariya Gnedtchik has recently turned 20 years old. She is a bright and extraordinary athlete that stands out among others not only with her crimson hair and a wide open smile, but also with her incredible charisma. Every day of the athlete is scheduled down to the minute. She does not hide the fact that in many ways she follows the example of Anastasiya Prokopenko, the Summer Olympic Games 2008 bronze medallist, five-time winner and multiple medallist of the World Championships. Anastasiya is one of those athletes, thanks to whose successful performances throughout many years, the Belarusian national team is considered one of the strongest in the world. Mariya Gnedtchik is undoubtedly the one who can continue the glorious winning traditions of our team. 

By Tatiana Pastushenko