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Young athletes shine at Schools Modern Biathlon Championships

Posted on Sunday, 24th Mar 2013 by Steve Ballinger

Hampshire schoolgirl Emily Jenkinson collected an impressive seventh successive title at the Pentathlon GB British Schools Modern Biathlon Championships in London today (Sunday).

The 16-year-old’s success was one of the highlights of a day that saw around 700 young athletes battle it out against each other – and the weather - for titles at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

There was also a title apiece for the Sinha sisters – Sabrina and Natasha – and a fourth title in the last five years for Alexander Allen, a pupil at Millfield School in Somerset.

Emily Jenkinson (pictured) from Southampton has dominated her year group at the championships since winning the Year 6 title back in 2007.

Now a pupil at Peter Symonds College in Winchester, she came third in her 100m swim today and set the fastest time in the Year 11/12 girls’ 1000m run to make sure of her seventh title.

She plans to return to the competition for the last time next year with the aim of making it eight in a row.

“I wasn’t expecting this many titles, to be honest,” she said. “I’m a bit shocked that I’ve won so many.

“The run wasn’t easy this year, it was a lot colder than I expected, but I’m really pleased that I won again.”

Earlier in the day Bromley High School pupil Sabrina Sinha won the Year 8 girls’ title – her second title in two years. Moments later her sister, Natasha, a pupil at James Allens Girls School in London, took the Year 9 title – her third in a row.

And there was a fourth title in the last five years for Millfield School pupil Alexander Allen. He dominated the competition, knocking a second off his personal best to win the 100m freestyle swim and then setting the fastest time in the 1000m run too.

Alexander has now won titles in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 – he missed out in 2010 when a heavy cold forced him to withdraw from the competition.

This year, just for good measure, he joined forces with James Rustom and Jason Haw to win the Year 10 & 11 boys’ team title for Millfield School.

“The swim went really well with a one-second personal best. It was just a case of sticking with them in the run then, I knew it was in my grasp,” he said. “We really wanted to win this team title this year, we haven’t done that for a while.”

The first winner of the day was Tom Randolph of the Landau Free Academy at Tamworth. Eighth after the swim, he produced a strong 1000m run in the stadium to win the boys’ Year 9 title.  Randolph had taken silver in the Year 8 competition last year.

After the event Jon Austin, Chief Executive Officer of Pentathlon GB, paid tribute to everyone who helped make the championships such a big success again this year.

“It’s been an enormous challenge to pull the championships together in the current weather conditions,” he said.

“I would particularly like to thank Sue Hyde our National Competitions and Events Manager, who, despite the uncertainties over the weather, remained resolutely determined to make sure the championships took place.

“I’d also like to thank all of the volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly to ensure the event happened today, as well as the schools, parents and athletes for showing the commitment to making the championships the successful event it has proved to be over the years.

“Thanks too for everyone at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre for their support in making sure the competition could go ahead.”

The schools biathlon is run by Pentathlon GB, the national governing body for the Olympic sport of modern pentathlon, and gives young athletes an opportunity to have a go at a multi-sport competition featuring a run and a swim. They could also try out fencing and shooting at taster sessions.

This year young athletes also got the opportunity to meet Heather Fell, who won modern pentathlon silver for Great Britain at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Heather, who presented medals and trophies to many of this year’s winners, said: “Being involved with the championships this year really brought back fond memories. It was great to be a part of it today and to meet so many talented young athletes.”

Barbara Woodward, Director General of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a member of the Pentathlon GB Board, also made a number of presentations.

Some former participants have gone on to represent Great Britain on the senior international circuit.  They include Jamie Cooke, Britain’s 2011 world junior champion and Joe Evans, who won bronze on his World Cup debut in California a month ago. Both are currently in Rio for the second World Cup of the year.

There were individual and team awards up for grabs in each year group from Year 5 up to Years 12/13.

Year 5, 6 and 7 pupils and teachers complete a 50m swim and a 500m run, with Years 8 to 13 pupils tackling a 100m swim and 1000m run.

For results go to www.pentathlongb.org/schools/index.php?tab=7

You can also follow our coverage of the action on our Facebook and Twitter pages at www.facebook.com/PentathlonGB and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PentathlonGB

Pentathlon GB is the National Governing Body for the Olympic Sport of Modern Pentathlon. For further information please see www.pentathlongb.org

For further information members of the media can contact the Pentathlon GB press office at Matchtight Ltd on 01225 383518 or 07765 071683.
 


News from April 2014

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Sunday, 20th Apr 2014 2014-04-20 10th for GB pair in mixed relay at Chengdu World Cup

The young British pairing of Kate French and Sam Curry came 10th in the mixed relay  – the final event of the Modern Pentathlon World Cup in Chengdu, China today (Sunday).
 
The GB pair were eighth after the fencing, winning 19 and losing 25 of their contests and were then eighth in the 2x100m freestyle relay with a time of 2:04.31.  
 
A sixth place finish in the run/shoot followed a 12th place in the ride, seeing the GB pair finish 10th overall.
 
Gold went to Korea, with Belarus winning silver and China bronze.
 
The Modern Pentathlon World Cup action now moves on to Kecskemet in Hungary from 1 to 5 May.
 
Pentathlon GB is the national governing body for the Olympic sport of modern pentathlon and has its National Training Centre at the University of Bath.
 
 
Chengdu mixed relay results
Gold: Soo Jin Yang & Woojin Hwang (KOR) – 1438 points
Silver: Tatsiana Yelizarova & Stanislau Zhurauliou (BLR) – 1429 points
Bronze: Xiaonan Zhang & Haihang Su (CHN) – 1421 points
10th: Kate French & Sam Curry (GBR) – 1286 points
 

Steve Ballinger
Friday, 18th Apr 2014 2014-04-18 Britain’s French secures career best World Cup finish

Britain’s Kate French achieved the highest Modern Pentathlon World Cup finish of her career to date when she came sixth in China today (Friday).
 
The 23-year-old, ranked 18th in the world, crossed the finish line just six seconds off the bronze medal position at the competition in Chengdu.
 
Team-mate Samantha Murray finished 29th with Freyja Prentice not taking part in the fun/shoot due to an ankle injury. She had been 13th after the ride.
 
Today’s performance was the latest in a string of impressive performances from French, originally from Kent but now training at Pentathlon GB’s National Training Centre at the University of Bath.
 
She came 10th in the individual competitions at both World and European Championships last year and was runner-up at last month’s Swiss International in Bern and at this month’s International Budapest Cup.
 
French and Prentice won 19 bouts fencing bouts apiece today to share 12th place with 214 pentathlon points, while Murray won 17 of her 35 fencing contests putting her in 16th place with 202 points.
 
Murray clocked the quickest swim time of the day with a 200m freestyle time of 2:11.00 to add 308 points to her total, promoting her to eighth. French’s 2:21.11 was the 19th fastest of the day, putting her 13th going into the ride, while Prentice’s 2:26.25 saw her drop to 21st.
 
Murray went clear in the ride, but sustained eight time penalties to give her 292 points, putting her fifth going into the run/shoot. She started the run/shoot 27 seconds behind Russia’s event leader Alise Fakhrutdinova.
 
French dropped 12 points from the maximum riding score to go into the run/shoot in 10th, 50 seconds behind the leader, while Prentice’s riding performance – dropping just eight points – pushed her back up the leaderboard into 13th.
 
Prentice, who had been troubled by an ankle injury in Wednesday’s qualifiers, decided against tackling the run/shoot.
 
And while Murray’s Chendgu campaign faltered and she dropped down the field, French went on to achieve her highest World Cup finish yet. Her run/shoot time of 13:19.21 was the sixth best of the day. She crossed the finish line six seconds behind bronze medallist Wanxia Liang, a second behind Hungary’s Sarolta Kovacs and alongside Mina Jeong of South Korea, who just edged fifth.

Qian Chen, China's world number three, won gold with Poland's Oktawia Nowacka taking silver.
 
Pentathlon GB is the national governing body for the Olympic sport of modern pentathlon and has its National Training Centre at the University of Bath.
 
Chengdu World Cup results
Gold: Qian Chen (CHN) – 1333 points
Silver: Oktawia Nowacka (POL) – 1300 points
Bronze: Wanxia Liang (CHN) – 1286 points
4th: Sarolta Kovacs (HUN) – 1281 points
5th: Mina Jeong (KOR) – 1280 points
6th: Kate French (GBR) – 1280 points
29th: Samantha Murray (GBR) – 1165 points
36th: Freyja Prentice (GBR) – 768 points (did not contest run/shoot)
 
Chengdu World Cup schedule
(please note: Chengdu time is seven hours ahead of UK time)
 
Wednesday: 16 April: women’s heats
Thursday 17 April: men’s heats
Friday 18 April: women’s final
Saturday 19 April: men’s final
Sunday 20 April: mixed relay
 
GB team for Chengdu
 
Kate French – 11.02.91, Meopham, Gravesend – Bath
Samantha Murray – 25.09.89, Clitheroe, Lancashire – Bath
Freyja Prentice – 20.05.90, Inverurie, near Aberdeen - Bath
 
Sam Curry – 03.09.93, Salfords, near Redhill – Bath
Luke Tasker – 28.01.94 – Waddington, Clitheroe, Lancashire - Bath
Tom Toolis – 23.12.92, Hornchurch, north east London- Bath
 

Steve Ballinger
Thursday, 17th Apr 2014 2014-04-17 GB men miss out on final berths at Chengdu World Cup

The young British men’s team have missed out on places in Saturday’s final at the Modern Pentathlon World Cup in China. 

Twenty-year-old Sam Curry came agonisingly close to clinching a place in the final at only his fourth World Cup competition.
 
The top-12 athletes from each of the two semis automatically progress along with the next 12 highest points scores from the two semis.
 
Curry finished 18th in semi-final A and his points total of 1080 was the joint 12th highest among the athletes who didn’t automatically qualify, along with Lukas Kontrimavicius of Lithuania. But the Lithuanian’s better run/shoot time in semi-final B saw him secure the last spot in the men’s final on Saturday.
 
Curry was sixth after the fencing in semi-final A and climbed to ninth with a 200m freestyle swim time of 2:05.82. He dropped to 18th in the run/shoot.
 
Twenty-year-old Luke Tasker, competing at his first World Cup, finished 31st in the same semi. He was joint 19th after the fencing, produced the sixth fastest swim of the semi (2:02.92) to go into the run/shoot in 13th, but he dropped down the field.
 
Semi-final B started in the pool and Tom Toolis’ swim time of 2:04.56 put him eighth. He dropped down to 21st after the fencing and ended the day in the same spot.
 
Tomorrow (Friday) sees the women return to action in their final.
 
Pentathlon GB is the national governing body for the Olympic sport of modern pentathlon and has its National Training Centre at the University of Bath.

Steve Ballinger
Wednesday, 16th Apr 2014 2014-04-16 GB trio through to Chengdu World Cup final

All three British women competing at the Modern Pentathlon World Cup in China have progressed through to Friday’s final.
 
Kate French, Freyja Prentice and Samantha Murray all qualified from their semis in Chengdu today (Wednesday).
 
Prentice struggled with an ankle injury and a decision on her participation in the final will be taken on the day.
 
Istvan Nemeth, Women’s Head Coach for the British team, said: “The only goal in the semi-finals is to get into the final. They’ve achieved that today."
 
French, ranked 19th in the world, qualified comfortably from semi-final A, crossing the finishing line in third place, 11 seconds behind China’s Xiaonon Zhang and a second behind Russia’s Ekaterina Khuraskina.
 
Sixth after the fencing and fifth after the swim, she was able to make sure of a top-12 place that guaranteed a spot in Friday’s final.
 
Prentice finished 17th in semi A after an ankle injury hampered her efforts during the run/shoot. With the top-12 from each semi guaranteed places in the final along with the next 12 highest points scorers, she faced a wait to see if she had reached the final. Her points score was high enough to see her through.
 
Samantha Murray came home 14th in semi B. Eleventh after the fencing, she clocked the second fastest 200m swim of the semi with 2:11.26 to go into the run/shoot in fifth. She crossed the finish line in a bunch of athletes to safely qualify for Friday's final.
 
Russia’s Donata Rimsaite led the way home in semi-final B.
 
Tomorrow (Thursday), 20-year-old Luke Tasker makes his World Cup debut in the men’s heats. He goes in semi-final A. Sam Curry and Tom Toolis go in semi-final B.
 
Pentathlon GB is the national governing body for the Olympic sport of modern pentathlon and has its National Training Centre at the University of Bath.
 
Chengdu World Cup schedule
(please note: Chengdu time is seven hours ahead of UK time)
 
Wednesday: 16 April: women’s heats
Thursday 17 April: men’s heats
Friday 18 April: women’s final
Saturday 19 April: men’s final
Sunday 20 April: mixed relay
 
GB team for Chengdu
 
Kate French – 11.02.91, Meopham, Gravesend – Bath
Samantha Murray – 25.09.89, Clitheroe, Lancashire – Bath
Freyja Prentice – 20.05.90, Inverurie, near Aberdeen - Bath
 
Sam Curry – 03.09.93, Salfords, near Redhill – Bath
Luke Tasker – 28.01.94 – Waddington, Clitheroe, Lancashire - Bath
Tom Toolis – 23.12.92, Hornchurch, north east London- Bath
 

Steve Ballinger
Monday, 14th Apr 2014 2014-04-14 Tasker set for World Cup debut in China

Twenty-year-old Luke Tasker is set to make his Modern Pentathlon World Cup debut at this week’s competition in Chengdu, China.
 
Tasker is a member of a six-strong GB team competing at the event. He joins 20-year-old Sam Curry, who contests his fourth World Cup, and 21-year-old Tom Toolis, who competes at only his second World Cup, in a young GB men’s team.
 
London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray heads the GB women’s team. She is joined by Freyja Prentice and Kate French, who are ranked 17th and 19th in the world respectively.
 
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB Performance Director, said: “Chengdu will be another opportunity for selected athletes to score points for the pentathlon world ranking list and hopefully achieve positive results for the British rankings, which will be used to select the teams for the European and World Championships later in the season.”
 
Tasker, who is studying Sports Performance at the University of Bath, finished 27th at the International Budapest Cup in Hungary a week ago, where Curry was 22nd and Toolis 23rd.
 
French continued her strong performances over the last year by taking the silver medal in the women’s competition at the International Budapest Cup, finishing 26 seconds behind Hungary’s Sarolta Kovacs.
 
Samantha Murray came home sixth with Jo Muir seventh, Georgia Pipes 20th and Caroline Nickerson 25th.
 
Pentathlon GB is the national governing body for the Olympic sport of modern pentathlon and has its National Training Centre at the University of Bath.
 
Chengdu World Cup schedule
(please note: Chengdu time is seven hours ahead of UK time)
 
Wednesday: 16 April: women’s heats
Thursday 17 April: men’s heats
Friday 18 April: women’s final
Saturday 19 April: men’s final
Sunday 20 April: mixed relay
 
GB team for Chengdu
 
Kate French – 11.02.91, Meopham, Gravesend – Bath
Samantha Murray – 25.09.89, Clitheroe, Lancashire – Bath
Freyja Prentice – 20.05.90, Inverurie, near Aberdeen - Bath
 
Sam Curry – 03.09.93, Salfords, near Redhill – Bath
Luke Tasker – 28.01.94 – Waddington, Clitheroe, Lancashire - Bath
Tom Toolis – 23.12.92, Hornchurch, north east London- Bath

Steve Ballinger
Monday, 14th Apr 2014 2014-04-14 Muir wins gold and Choong silver at junior international

Two young British pentathletes produced strong performances to secure podium places at the Milan Kadlec Memorial junior international competition in Prague at the weekend.