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GB pentathletes bid for Olympic qualification
Britain’s modern pentathletes face their best opportunity to achieve the qualifying standard for London 2012 when they compete at the European Championships at Medway Park in Kent later this week (Thursday 28 July to Monday 1 August).
The top-eight finishers in both the men’s and women’s competitions at this year’s Europeans achieve the 2012 qualifying standard, compared with the top-three at the World Championships this year and next year and the winner of the World Cup Final in London two weeks ago.
It means the eight British athletes selected for the individual competitions at the Europeans will be going flat out in pursuit of their Olympic dream..
Britain has a strong quartet of athletes in the women’s individual competition, including world number four and Beijing 2008 silver medallist Heather Fell, and world number five Mhairi Spence, who has already won two World Cup medals this year. They are joined by Freyja Prentice, who tops the world junior rankings, and Katy Burke, ranked 25th in the world.
Fell said: “Making the top-four for the Europeans was quite a challenge. I’ve done well to get on the start line. Once you are there you can focus on the competition.
“It’s still so open at the moment and every competition between now and the Games counts.”
There is now just over year to go to the 2012 Opening Ceremony and Spence, who was the highest placed GB woman in fifth at the World Cup Final and Olympic test event at Greenwich Park two weeks ago, said she is determined not to miss out.
“I have to make sure I do everything I need to and more to be on the start line at 2012,” she said. “The experience I had at Greenwich Park means I really, really don’t want to miss it.”
Samantha Murray and Kate French are in the GB squad for the team relay – French is originally from Kent and made her World Cup debut at the venue last year.
The GB team for the European Championships is:
Samantha Murray (team relay)
Kate French (team relay)
European Championships schedule
Thursday 28 July: men’s semi-final
Friday 29 July: women’s semi-final
Saturday 30 July: men’s final & team competition
Sunday 31 July: women’s final & team competition
Monday 1 August: men’s relay & women’s relay