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Czech Svoboda wins men's modern pentathlon

London, England (Sports Network) - Blue Bandana Boy bagged a bloody big win.

David Svoboda of the Czech Republic won the men's modern pentathlon Saturday after a daylong competition pitting athletes against each other in fencing, swimming, show jumping, running and shooting.

Nicknamed for the bandana he wears during the fencing competition, Svoboda beat China's Cao Zhongrong and Hungary's Adam Marosi for his country's first gold medal in the sport, calling it a dream come true.

"It sounds like a cliche," Svoboda said, "but that is what it was."

Svoboda won 26 of his 35 fencing bouts in the morning to tie the Olympic mark of 1,024 points set by Russia's Andrei Moiseev in 2008 when he won his second straight gold medal.

That put Svoboda in first place going into the 200-meter swim, held nearby at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park. He never finished better than sixth in any of the other four categories but his 5,928 points held up as the most.

Cao scored 5,904 points for the silver, China's first modern pentathlon medal, and Marosi earned bronze. It was Hungary's 22nd Olympic medal in the sport, moving the country ahead of Sweden for the all-time lead.

Russia's Aleksander Lesun fell out of medal contention following the final competition, which combined running and shooting. He finished fourth while Moiseev came in seventh.

After Svoboda, 27, tied the fencing record, Egypt's Amro El Geziry broke his own modern pentathlon mark in the 200 free with a swim of 1 minute, 55.70 seconds to shave .16 seconds off his time from Beijing.

El Geziry was more than 12 seconds off Frenchman Yannick Agnel's gold medal time in the 200 meters here -- but also faster than the two slowest swimmers in heats last week.

Cao led the standings after fencing and swimming while Svoboda fell to second after finishing 17th in the swim.

The rest of the competition was held at Greenwich Park, about 25 minutes away.

Svoboda was 16th in the show jumping, where the athletes must ride horses they have only just met. Hungary's Robert Kasza placed first. Svoboda still held a four-point lead over Cao going into the combined shooting and running events, where the athletes alternate running and firing at electronic targets with laser pistols.

The lead gave him a one-second head start over Cao -- every four points is worth a second -- and he crossed the finish line five seconds faster than the silver medalist to seal the win.

Modern pentathlon world record holder Nicola Benedetti of Italy set a new Olympic mark in the combined event but finished 20th overall. American Dennis Bowsher placed 32nd out of 36.

08/11 15:42:12 ET


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