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Lena Schoneborn - Pentathlon

Lena Schoneborn - Pentathlon

Born on April 11, 1986 in Troisdorf, Germany, Lena Schoneborn is a professional pentathlete who competes in the Modern Pentathlon via the Olympics and other international competitions. In the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, Schoneborn will represent her home country in the event and is a favorite entering into the Games.

Lena isn’t exactly new to the Olympic stage. Competing in the Modern Pentathlon in 2008 in Beijing, Schoneborn had a very strong showing and earned a gold medal for Germany. Her career has been up and down in terms of success, with Lena struggling often in the professional ranks, but when the lights are shining brightest, she always seems to show up to compete a little harder. That’s what Germany hopes for as the 2012 Games quickly approach.

Sporting Career

Lena Schoneborn is the next in a long line of fine German athletes to compete in the Modern Pentathlon. A very grueling event that puts athletes through five intense competitions in one day, the Pentathlon is not for the average Joe or Jane. It takes years of training in multiple disciplines to even compete in one of these multi-event competitions, much less to actually do well and finish one. Lena has been a pentathlete since she was 14 years old, so she’s certainly no stranger to the struggle.

When she’s not training for the Pentathlon these days, Lena is studying for her degree in Business Administration. However, the rigors of the Pentathlon make it very difficult to concentrate on anything outside of competition. Pentathlets have to compete in pistol shooting, epee fencing, swimming, horse riding, and cross-country running all in one day. This takes an incredible amount of stamina—physical and mental—to pull off.

Lena turned heads in 2005 when entering the World Junior Championships. Only a few years into her training, she wasn’t expected do that well. She had been late to learn fencing or riding at all, so these disciplines were essentially new to her. However, Lena would win the Junior title in 2005 and turn professional shortly thereafter.
It has been a tough road for Schoneborn as a pro pentathlete. While she has managed to win an individual silver medal and two bronze medals in various events, she has not been able to win the professional World Championships. That makes her Olympic win all the more impressive.

Entering the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Lena wasn’t a huge favorite to walk away with gold. But after a strong start in pistol shooting, and after having the best fencing performance of the Games, Schoneborn was in prime position to win gold. All she had to do was finish the last events with decent scores. She did, and Lena is the defending gold-medal-winner in the Modern Pentathlon – a feat she hopes to match entering the 2012 Games.

Career Highlights

  • 2005 World Junior Championships – Gold
  • 2008 Olympic Games – Gold
  • 2010 World Cup Final – Gold
  • 2011 World Cup Final – Gold

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