MODERN PENTATHLON: Despite a few bumps on their roads to Rio, modern pentathletes Chloe and Max Esposito have recovered from injury and are competing at their ‘local’ national event this weekend, the Hungarian Championships.
The duo from Casula in Sydney’s south-west live in Budapest with their parents and their father Daniel, an Olympian from 1984, is their coach.
After a quiet start to 2016 due to injuries, the family have a busy competition schedule ahead of them in the lead up to the Games.
Coach Daniel is upbeat and said both are ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
“It’s been a very difficult period for all of us this year due to injury. However, it has been a great learning curve to never give up under difficult circumstances.
“Yes we are back on the rails, as in full training and competing in competition.”
After having overcome serious shin splints and with recent altitude training under his belt, Max showed off his current form with a gold medal at the 2016 Memorial Milan Kadlec Junior Tournament in Prague last month.
He said the victory in Prague was the perfect return to the sport in his lead up to Rio.
“I really enjoyed it and was glad it was in Prague, where pentathlon is very popular. It is the city of David Svoboda, the current Olympic champion.”
Daniel said Chloe - who placed fourth at the qualifier in Beijing and won silver at the Champions of Champions event in Qatar in November 2015 - is the most focused she has ever been in her sporting career.
“I have a lot of experience, but a short amount of time to get my peak. So I am under pressure time wise to get training and competition fit,” Chloe said.
“I am mentally improving because I have to be tougher than I have ever been before.
“I am really excited about what lies ahead of me.”
In June 2015, the Esposito’s were the first athletes selected for the Rio Team. Since then they have remarkably been joined by another six sets of siblings onto the Team so far.
A string of outstanding performances at the Modern Pentathlon Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifiers in Beijing earned them nomination onto the Team.
The Rio Games will be Chloe’s second Olympic appearance after the 23-year-old finished seventh at London, securing the best result by an Australian female since the sport was opened to both genders in 2000.
Now younger brother Max will join his sister at Rio, after the 17-year-old defeated the 2012 Olympic silver medallist and upstaged a number of experienced athletes at the qualifiers in Beijing.
His gold medal finish in the qualifier ultimately secured his Olympic debut at the first South American Games.
The final dress rehearsal for the pair will come at the Open Asian Championships in late June and the Budapest Four Event competition in early July.
They’ll then have further altitude training in Mexico before flying in to Rio a few days ahead of their competition. Modern pentathlon will be held on Day 13, 14 and 15 of the Games at the Deodoro Olympic Park.