Amelie Caze claimed gold at the Modern Pentathlon World Cup Final in Medway with the Great British team dominating the top 10.
Four Brits sneaked into the top 10 with Mhairi Spence taking the bronze medal behind Caze and world number two Donata Rimsaite.
Mhairi Spence jumping on her horse
Britain’s record-breaking eight qualifiers did not disappoint their home crowd with Katy Burke (fourth), Samantha Murray (seventh) and Freyja Prentice (ninth) rounding the top 10 off.
GB’s Beijing Olympic athletes, Heather Fell and Katy Livingston, finished down in 13th and 15th opening up the race to compete in London 2012 with just two spots available.
Lydia Rosling and Kate French, the host nation’s other competitors, finished well in 19th and 28th respectively.
Spence started the combined event with just a six second advantage over Caze and Leila Gyenesei of Hungary 12 seconds further back.
The Scot, who led heading into two disciplines, started the day off well with an excellent fence; 26 victories meant she went into the swimming in pole position before a near perfect ride put her back in front.
Hungarian Leila Gyenesei was easily the fastest swimmer and temporarily leap-frogged Spence, along with former World Champion Amelie Caze. Gyenesei then dramatically slipped back and finished in 18th place after a poor run/shoot.
Despite surrendering the lead during the combined event Spence was ‘surprised and happy’ to have made it onto her first ever World Cup podium.
She said: “At the end of the day, I was really just hoping for a podium finish and I was happy I held on as much as I could.”
Spence also hailed the fantastic support of the Gillingham crowd, saying: “The crowd carried me over, my legs were going over the place. I didn’t quite think I was going to make it then the crowd went and I just had to finish for them.
“My legs were quite heavy and I was praying that my legs would keep going because I thought they might stop,” she added.
For the Brits, Freyja Prentice kept up her record of finishing in the top 10 in every one of her World Cup appearances after a superb combined.
Prentice was 20th going into the final event but shot extremely well in jump up 11 places but was left to rue a disappointing fencing performance.
She said: “My last shoot was a bit fumbly but I was very happy overall, it was the best combined I have done this season. I just need to work on my fence at the beginning of the day.
“I clinged on at the end but [a top 10 finish] was my aim, it is just annoying that one event didn’t work out but I have other competitions and I will improve for them,” the nineteen-year-old added.
Katy Burke completed the day in a very credible fourth place, giving her consecutive top 6 finishes and the 20-year-old said: “I can’t believe it, I just wanted to make the final and go for top 20.
“I was really pleased with my combined, which I have struggled with, but it is getting better and better,” she added.
Report written by David Brenchley. To contact the writer of this story, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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