Britain¹s Mhairi Spence won her second Modern Pentathlon World Cup medal of
the season when she took bronze in Hungary today (Saturday).
The 25-year-old produced a strong all round performance in World Cup 3 in
Százhalombatta to win the third World Cup medal of her career.
It means British women have won medals at all three World Cups this year
following Spence¹s silver in the USA in February and Freyja Prentice¹s
bronze in Sardinia three weeks ago.
Spence, who was never outside the top three all day today, went into the
run/shoot at the head of the leaderboard following the withdrawal through
injury of France¹s three-times world champion Amelie Caze. But despite
shooting well, she was overtaken by Egypt¹s Aya Medany, who went on to take
gold, and later by Germany¹s Olympic champion, Lena Schoneborn, who took
Fellow Brit Freyja Prentice produced the fastest run/shoot of the day at
Százhalombatta to climb from 31st to finish 10th overall, while Heather Fell
came up with the third fastest run/shoot to climb from 30th to 14th. Katy
Burke ended the day in 17th after having problems with her laser pistol in
the warm-up ahead of the run/shoot.
Spence, who rounded off her day by hitting all five targets in just 16
seconds on her last visit to the shooting range, said: ³I¹m really pleased
with the result. My fencing was a lot better today and I performed quite
solidly throughout the whole day.
³I¹ve been working hard and I managed to hold my form and nail the things
that really mattered today.²
Reflecting on three medals for the British women from three World Cups this
season, Istvan Nemeth, GB women¹s head coach, said: ³It¹s not bad! Mhairi
had a minor hiccup in the middle of the fencing, but she closed the deal by
winning her last three rounds. She had an excellent swim and she rode well.
³If Freyja and Heather could have added two hundred more points to their
score in the fencing we would have had three in the top-eight.²
Spence made an impressive start to her campaign, finishing third in the
fencing with a performance that was only bettered by Caze and Schoneborn.
Spence¹s 24 wins from 35 bouts was just one win behind the top pair, earning
her 976 points. ³It was great to finally show my top fencing form during the
competition. I fence like this every day in training,² she said.
The other three Brits left themselves with plenty of work to do. Burke won
16 of her contests for joint 23rd place with 784 points. Fell and Prentice
won 12 bouts each to put them joint 30th with 688 points.
Spence moved up to second behind Caze in the swim. Her time of 2:15.90 for
the 200m freestyle was the ninth fastest and was worth 1172 points.
Burke produced a strong swim to climb 10 places up the rankings to 13th
going into the ride. Her time of 2:13.14 was the fifth fastest of the day
and was the best of the Brits.
Fell¹s 2:16.25 was 11th quickest and worth 1168 points putting her 29th
going into the ride, while Prentice clocked a time of 2:22.59 for 1092
points, making her 33rd overall.
Spence kept up her challenge at the top of the leaderboard in the ride.
Although she had the second fence down, she controlled a rather frisky horse
well and completed the rest of the course with no further penalties. That
meant she added 1180 points to her total to start the run/shoot on 3328
points putting her 32 points and eight seconds behind Caze.
The French athlete was due to start first, but then withdrew from the
competition through a recurrence of a hamstring injury ahead of the
run/shoot. Egypt¹s Aya Medany went clear in the riding arena to start the
run/shoot a second behind Spence.
Burke also rode well. She clipped the fourth fence to lose 20 points from
the maximum 1200 but maintained her 13th place overall. She went into the
run/shoot 40 seconds behind Spence
Fell dropped 92 points from the riding maximum while Prentice dropped just
20. It meant Fell went into the run/shoot in 30th a minute and 31 seconds
off the lead, with Prentice starting a second further back in 31st.
Prentice produced a stunning run/shoot with a time of 11:25.16 to climb to
10th. Fell¹s time of 11:33.42 saw him climb to 14th overall, with Burke
ensuring all of the Brits finished in the top-20 by ending the day in 17th.
Her preparations were hampered by problems with her laser pistol ahead of
Tomorrow (Sunday) a trio of British pentathletes compete in the men¹s final.
Jamie Cooke, Sam Weale and Nick Woodbridge all qualified from Friday¹s semi.
World Cup 3 women¹s final results
Gold: Aya Medany (EGY) 5452 points
Silver: Lena Schoneborn (GER) 5448 points
Bronze: Mhairi Spence (GBR) 5404 points
10th: Freyja Prentice (GBR) 5220 points
14th: Heather Fell (GBR) 5192 points
17th: Katy Burke (GBR) 5152 points
Other major events this season are:
World Cup 4 Chengdu, China, 26-30 May
* World Cup Final London, 9-11 July
* European Championships Medway, Kent, 28 July-1 August
* World Championships - Moscow, Russia, 8-14 September
photos Janos Schmidt