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Murray, Choong, Cooke and Prise take titles at British Championships

Posted on Sunday, 7th Apr 2013 by Steve Ballinger

Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray produced a fine all-round display to win her first British Modern Pentathlon Championships crown in Solihull yesterday (Saturday).

And the overall men’s title went to teenager Joe Choong, who at the end of a long day of competition, just edged out Jamie Cooke in a sprint finish.

Murray and Choong have now secured places on the British team to compete at the European Championships in Poland in July.

Murray, ranked three in the world, won bronze at last year’s World Championships and silver at London 2012, but hadn’t yet won a senior British Championships.

The 23-year-old did it in style today in a high class field that also featured Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell and reigning world champion Mhairi Spence.

After an impressive day, Murray shot and ran strongly at the Tudor Grange Leisure Centre to finish 20 seconds clear of 17-year-old Eilidh Prise.

It meant Murray captured the senior and overall titles, with Aberdeen teenager Prise, a member of Pentathlon GB’s World Class Podium Potential programme, impressing with the fastest run/shoot time of the day en route to the junior title.

Murray is now focussing on studying for her finals for her French and Politics degree at the University of Bath later this month.

“I had a fantastic day,” she said afterwards. “I was relaxed coming here and I wanted to win to secure my place at the European Championships.

“I started training again after the Olympics in January and I felt strong today,” she added. “My running has improved since the World Cup in Rio l
ast month, when I finished fifth.”

Murray started the day well with the second best performance in the fencing, winning 33 of her 42 bouts. That was only bettered by Jenny McGeever, with 35 wins.

Kate French and Katy Burke were joint third with 30 wins, with Eilidh Prise fifth, Spence and Freyja Prentice joint seventh and Fell 11th.

Murray climbed to the top of the leaderboard in the swim, and from there she never looked back. Her 200m freestyle time of 2:09.96 was the second fastest of the day.

Burke moved up to second with 2:11.78, the third fastest time of the day, with McGeever third and French fourth. Alice Fitton clocked the fastest time in the pool with 2:08.42 to go joint fifth with Eilidh Prise.

Murray extended her lead in the ride. She had one fence down and also sustained some time penalties to add 1120 of the maximum possible 1200 to her score.

That meant she went into the run/shoot 92 points and 23 seconds clear of Burke in second. Burke added 1112 points to her score in the ride.

Eilidh Prise and Spence were the only two riders to go clear in the allowed time to bag the maximum 1200 points in the arena at Solihull Riding Club. That was enough to promote them from sixth and seventh respectively overall to third and fourth.

Fell, meanwhile, went into the run/shoot in 14th, climbing from 11th place after the swim.

Murray shot and ran well to make sure of the title, although Prise’s 12:28.06 run/shoot was six seconds quicker than that of the London 2012 medallist.

French came home third, with Burke fourth and Fell producing a battling end to her campaign, scything her way through the field from 14th to fifth. Spence finished seventh.

The men’s competition ended in a thrilling climax with five athletes in with a shout in the run/shoot. In the end it all came down to a sprint finish, with 17-year-old Choong edging out Cooke, Britain’s 2011 world junior champion.

Joe Evans, bronze medallist on his World Cup debut in California in February, came home third, with double Olympian Sam Weale fourth and Tom Toolis fifth.

It meant Choong, a student at Whitgift School in Croydon, took the overall and junior titles, with Cooke securing the senior title.

“I’m pleased, I like a sprint finish,” said Choong. “I was a bit lucky today because I got a really nice horse, and riding is my weakest event.”

Weale made the best start, winning 24 of his fencing bouts to take 1084 pentathlon points. Sam Curry’s 21 wins put him second, with Toolis third, and  Evans and Choong sharing fourth.

Weale’s 2:04.39 was the sixth fastest men’s 200m freestyle time but was enough to keep him in the lead. Not surprisingly, Cooke went quickest in the pool with a time of 1:55.30, pushing him up from sixth to fifth overall. Evans’ 1:57.04 was second fastest, keeping him second overall with Chong third overall and Toolis fourth.

But it was Choong that led the leaderboard after the ride. None of the men went clear in the allowed time, but Choong’s 1156 points was the third best performance in the riding area and meant he went into run/shoot in pole position, 60 points and 15 seconds clear of Cooke in second. Cooke had also fared well in the ride, with 1128 points.

Toolis was just four points and a second further back at the start, with Evans another four seconds back in fourth. Weale added 976 points to his score in the ride and started the run/shoot in fifth. He started just 32 seconds behind Choong.

The run/shoot turned into a terrific battle with five athletes in contention, but it was Choong and Cooke that battled it out on the last running leg. They both produced determined finishes as they battled for the line in a sprint finish, but it was the 17-year-old that edged it by a fraction. He took the overall and junior titles, with Cooke getting the consolation of the senior crown.

Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB Performance Director, said: “It was very competitive today. It shows it was a good idea to get the juniors and seniors in the mix in open competition.

“The decision for the winner to compete at the European Championships also gave the competition a tension and some extra competitiveness.

“Samantha looked very good today and Eilidh helped to keep her on her toes,” he added.

Full results are available on the Pentathlon GB website at www.pentathlongb.org/competitions/results.php


Results:

Overall British Champions
Women: Samantha Murray
Men:  Joe Choong

Women – senior
Gold: Samantha Murray – 5428
Silver: Kate French - 5092
Bronze: Katy Burke - 5076

Women – junior
Gold: Eilidh Prise - 5348
Silver: Jo Muir - 4908
Bronze: Kerry Prise - 4660

Men – senior
Gold: Jamie Cooke - 5744
Silver: Sam Weale - 5612
Bronze: James Myatt - 5388

Men – junior
Gold: Joe Choong - 5744
Silver: Joe Evans - 5656
Bronze: Tom Toolis - 5532


News from April 2014

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Date MYSQL Date Headline News Item Posted By
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.