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Jen's pentathlon is one of her best challenges yet

Posted on Friday, 16th Aug 2013 by Steve Ballinger

A woman who has made a year-long challenge out of tackling lots of different sports says she enjoyed meeting some of the country’s top multi-sport athletes past and present as she took on her very own modern pentathlon test.
 
Inspired by London 2012, Jen Offord challenged herself to try out as many Olympic sporting disciplines as she could in her Inspire a Jen project.
 
Her modern pentathlon challenge was her 34th different discipline she’d had a go at in the 12 months – and she said it was one of the best yet.
 
Jen spent a day at the Pentathlon GB high performance centre at the University of Bath, where she was the guest of double Olympian and Sydney 2000 modern pentathlon bronze medallist Kate Allenby.
 
Just for good measure she was also joined for the challenge by Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell, Beijing 2008 Olympian and 2008 individual World Championships bronze medallist Katy Livingston, world junior championship medallist Sarah Langridge, and current GB athlete Katy Burke, a team silver medallist at last year’s European Championships.
 
She met reigning world champion Mhairi Spence, who defends her title later this month in the sport that sees athletes tackle fencing, swimming, show jumping and a run/shoot, all in one day. Youth athletes Ioan Baxter and Ellie Gussey also took part in some elements of Jen’s challenge.
 
“It was an excellent day and great fun,” said Jen. “It will definitely stick with me. I’ve tried the sports individually before, but not all together in one day. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had during the project.
 
“To train with so many elite athletes was a real privilege. Kate was brilliant. She gave me some really expert tuition so I could feel myself improving in the sports, and that added massively to my enjoyment of the day,” she added.
 
And Jen said she was impressed by the facilities at the University of Bath Sports Training Village, which is home to Pentathlon GB’s high performance centre.  “It’s an amazing, amazing facility,” she said.
 
Kate Allenby was also impressed with Jen. “I have tremendous respect for Jen for trying so many different sports. She put herself outside her comfort zone on so many occasions, yet she was really positive and outgoing about the whole challenge,” she said.
 
“I was really delighted to see her having a go at modern pentathlon,” she added. “She was very easy to coach, taking information on board and putting it into practice.”
 
Jen explained why she took up the challenge. “I was inspired by the Olympics and I was thinking about which sport to take up,” she said. “A friend suggested I try all of them and write a blog about it, so I did. Now I’ve done so many, it’s going to be really difficult to narrow it down to one or two to stick with, but it’s the taking part that’s important.”
 
With 34 disciplines ticked off her list, she is tackling four more before ending her challenge, with canoe slalom next on the agenda.
 
You can follow Jen’s exploits on her blog at www.jeninspired.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @inspireajen
 
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.


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.