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Spence bids to defend title as British team prepares to take on the world

Posted on Wednesday, 24th Jul 2013 by Alexia Jones

Spence bids to defend title as British team prepares to take on the world

by Steve Ballinger

 

Britain’s Mhairi Spence gets the opportunity to defend her World Championship crown when she competes at the most important modern pentathlon competition since the London 2012 Olympics next month.

 

Spence won the title in Rome in May of last year and is today named in the GB team to contest the 2013 World Championships in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei, from 21 to 27 August.

 

The 2012 championships were held earlier in the year than usual because of the Olympics, so Spence has had the privilege of reigning as world champion for just over 15 months.

 

“I was really proud to win the World Championships last year,” she said. “I finally achieved what I knew I could do. It’s nice when you know you’re the best in the world at something, not everyone gets to be a world champion.

 

“The World Championships have a big meaning for me, because it was also my first individual gold medal,” she added. “I don't think it puts any more pressure on me this time around though. I always go to competitions wanting to do the best I can and wanting to get on the podium.”

 

Spence, now ranked 10th in the world, is joined in the British team Kaohsiung by another 2012 World Championships individual medallist, Samantha Murray, currently ranked nine in the world.

 

Murray’s bronze last year was enough to secure her a place on the British team for the London 2012 Olympics, where she won the silver medal, Britain’s last medal of the Games.

 

Kate French and Freyja Prentice also feature in the GB women’s team for Kaohsiung. Prentice was the highest placed GB woman at this month’s European Championships finishing fourth at her first major competition back from a lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury.

 

French finished 10th in the individual competition at the Europeans and partnered Spence and Murray to gold in the team event. She won another gold in the women’s relay with Murray and Katy Burke. Burke is non-travelling reserve for the women’s team for the World Championships.

 

Jamie Cooke, Britain’s 2011 world junior champion who won his first World Cup gold medal in Hungary in May, is confirmed for the men’s team along with double Olympian Sam Weale.

 

Joe Evans, the 19-year-old who won bronze at his first World Cup in the USA in February, has qualified for the team through the Pentathlon GB ranking list.  He will make his senior World Championships debut if he is fit and healthy after next week’s World Junior Championships in Szekesfehervar, Hungary.

 

Double Olympian Woodbridge will be assessed midway through the forthcoming two-week training camp at altitude at Font Romeu in the French Pyrenees to see if he has sufficiently recovered from injury to contest the championships.

 

Nineteen-year-old Sam Curry is non-travelling reserve.

 

The Britain train at the Pentathlon GB High Performance Centre at the University of Bath. The University today announced a strengthened partnership with Pentathlon GB. A separate release has been issued on this entitled Unique partnership strengthens University’s sporting reputation

 

GB athletes competing at the World Championships

(Name – date of birth, from – lives)

 

Women

 

Kate French  - 11.02.91, Meopham, Gravesend - Bath

Samantha Murray – 25.09.90, Clitheroe, Lancashire - Bath

Freyja Prentice -  20.05.90 – Inverurie near Aberdeen - Bath

Mhairi Spence – 31.08.85, Farr, near Inverness - Bath

 

Non-travelling reserve

Katy Burke – 01.06,89, Cleveleys, near Blackpool - Bath

 

Men

Selected

Jamie Cooke  - 03.03.91, Cheltenham – Bath

Joe Evans *  - 05.09.93,  Whitchurch, Shropshire – Bath

Sam Weale – 09.02.82, East Coker near Yeovil, Somerset

 

*subject to being fit & healthy after World Junior Championships

 

Fitness to be assessed at Font Romeu

Nick Woodbridge – 01.07.86, Telford, Shropshire - Bath

 

Non-travelling reserve

Sam Curry – 03.09.93, Redhill - Bath

 

Women

 

Kate French  - 11.02.91, Meopham, Gravesend - Bath

Samantha Murray – 25.09.90, Clitheroe, Lancashire - Bath

Freyja Prentice -  20.05.90 – Inverurie near Aberdeen - Bath

Mhairi Spence – 31.08.85, Farr, near Inverness - Bath

 

Non-travelling reserve

Katy Burke – 01.06,89, Cleveleys, near Blackpool - Bath

 

Senior British medals in 2013

World Cup 1: bronze – Joe Evans, Palm Springs, USA, February

 

World Cup 4: gold – Jamie Cooke, Budapest, Hungary, May

                       bronze – Mhairi Spence, Budapest, Hungary, May

 

European Championships: gold – women’s team relay (Katy Burke, Kate French    & Samantha Murray) Drzonkow, Poland, July

                                           gold – women’s team (Kate French, Samantha Murray & Mhairi Spence) Drzonkow, Poland, July

                                           bronze – men’s team relay (Jamie Cooke, Sam Curry & Joe Evans) Drzonkow, Poland, July

 

2013 World Championships schedule

 

Wednesday 21 August: Women’s individual qualification

Thursday 22 August: Men’s individual qualification

Friday 23 August: Women’s individual & team final

Saturday 24 August: Women’s individual & team final

Sunday 25 August: Mixed relay

Monday 26 August: Women’s relay

Tuesday 27 August: Men’s relay

 

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

 

You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PentathlonGB and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PentathlonGB

 

The modern pentathlon sees athletes tackle fencing, swimming, show jumping and a run/shoot all in one day.

 

Great Britain's women have collected an impressive haul of five modern pentathlon medals from the last four Olympic Games, with Steph Cook winning gold at Sydney 2000 and Kate Allenby bronze, Georgina Harland taking bronze at Athens in 2004, Heather Fell winning silver at Beijing in 2008 and Samantha Murray taking silver at London last year.

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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Date MYSQL Date Headline News Item Posted By
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.