Bath-based British quartet qualify for final at Modern Pentathlon World Cup event in Rio
All four British women in action at the Rio Modern Pentathlon World Cup have qualified safely for tomorrow’s final.
London 2012 silver medallist Samantha Murray and world champion Mhairi Spence progressed from their semi-finals yesterday, in their first World Cup since the Olympics.
They will be joined in the final by fellow Bath-based pentathletes Katy Burke and Kate French.
Murray and French both went in semi-final B, which started with the fencing. French achieved 19 wins from 31 bouts to start the day in sixth with 916 points, while Murray’s 15 wins put her 16th on 804 points.
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French maintained her top-ten position overall after the swim with a time of 2mins 35.25secs for the 200m freestyle, adding 1,084 points to her total to go into the combined event in seventh place, 21 seconds behind leader Donata Rimsaite from Russia.
Murray started the run/shoot three seconds behind French, with her swim of 2:14.99 the fourth fastest of the semi-final and the fastest by the British team on the day. It earned her 1,184 pentathlon points, pushing her up to joint ninth.
French cruised into the final in sixth place overall in semi-final B courtesy of a run/shoot time of 13:50.50, the joint eighth best of the day. She came home 15 seconds behind Rimsaite to progress to Friday’s final.
Murray also did enough to progress, clocking the 13th fastest time of 13:55.10 to finish 23 seconds back from Rimsaite.
In semi-final A, the athletes started in the pool, where both Burke and Spence achieved top-ten finishes for the 200m freestyle swim. Burke’s 2:16.06 was the fourth fastest time in the semi, earning 1,168 points, while Spence’s 2:18.95 was ninth fastest and worth 1,136 points.
Burke won half of her 30 fencing bouts to add 832 pentathlon points to her total, sending her into the run/shoot in 13th place, one spot off an automatic route through to the final. She started the run/shoot 43 seconds behind London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania, who led the field.
Spence started the run/shoot in 16th place, 47 seconds behind the Lithuanian, after winning 17 of her 30 fencing contests to add 848 points to her total.
Spence’s 14:06.70 saw her end the day 17th overall, while Burke’s 14:23.00 put her 18th as Asadauskaite topped the leaderboard.
This season, for the first time, the top 12 finishers in the two semis progress automatically to the final along with the 12 next highest points scorers, and the British pair's efforts in semi-final A proved enough.
"All four athletes are through to the final. They’re all there and that was what we were aiming for, so I’m happy,” said Istvan Nemeth, Pentathlon GB women’s head coach.
Britain's men, who are also based in Bath, compete in their semi-finals today. Joe Evans, bronze medallist on his World Cup debut in California a month ago, is joined by double Olympian Nick Woodbridge, Jamie Cooke and Sam Curry.
The women's final - with showjumping included - takes place tomorrow and the men's final on Saturday, with a mixed relay taking place on Sunday.
The next World Cup event takes place from April 17-21 in Chengdu, China.
For more information on the sport, visit www.pentathlongb.org.