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  • Feb 2014

Curry and Salih to attend TASS 10th birthday celebrations

Posted on Tuesday, 12th Nov 2013 by Steve Ballinger

Modern pentathlete Sam Curry will swap his fencing, swimming, riding, running and shooting gear for a smart suit to attend a reception at the House of Commons marking the 10th anniversary of the Talented Athlete Scholarships Scheme (TASS).
 
Curry (pictured), who received TASS support in 2011/12, will be joined by one of the current crop of TASS athletes, 17 year-old Saffron Salih  and Lawrence Moss, a Pentathlon GB board member at the celebration on Wednesday (13 November).
 
Curry and Salih are among 60 modern pentathletes to have benefitted from TASS support over the last decade. Their number also includes London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray.
 
Twenty-year-old Curry, originally from Salfords near Redhill, now trains at Pentathlon GB’s High Performance Centre at the University of Bath, where he is studying for a Politics and International Relations degree.
 
Currently 13th in the world junior rankings, he received TASS funding in 2011/12 and has featured in some of the publicity material celebrating TASS’s landmark.
 
He said:  “TASS funding helped me get all of the kit I needed and enabled me to do the training I needed,” he said. “That helped get me to Bath and achieve what I’m doing now.”
 
Salih is from Orpington in Kent started her pentathlon career at the British Schools Biathlon Championships. She is a current TASS scholar and won individual bronze and team gold in the Youth B competition at the 2011 Olympic Hopes competition in Poland.
 
More than 200 people are expected to attend the House of Commons reception, which takes place on Wednesday (13 November) and is hosted by Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson.
 
Stuart Mason, whose role includes overseeing TASS funding for Pentathlon GB, said: “TASS is a vital element of our Pathway Programme. It is firmly embedded in the programme and has played an important role in the development of many young pentathletes.”
 
Guy Taylor, National Director of TASS, the Government funded partnership between talented young athletes, National Governing Bodies of Sport and the Higher and Further education sector said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate our 10th birthday at such a splendid location as the Houses of Parliament and hosted by Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson.
 
“TASS began in the autumn of 2003 and since then has given over £30 million in support to over 6000 athletes across 50 sports.
 
“We are a well-established scheme with a great track record. This is not about talent identification, this is about nurturing athletes who are already known to be talented and are wisely pursuing their education at the same time as a demanding sports career.
 
“These are exactly the kind of athletes that are surviving on minimal funding, can spend weeks out of training because they cannot afford a physio appointment and need all the help that they can get to stay in the sport as a pipeline of talent for Rio 2016, Korea 2018 and beyond," concluded Taylor.
 
Curry made his senior international debut last year while still a student at Whitgift School in Croydon. He transferred to Bath in 2012 and reached the final on his World Cup debut aged 19 in California in 2013, a season that saw also him win individual bronze and team relay bronze at the European Junior Championships in Bulgaria.
 


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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.