British team secure third medal of European Championships

15th July 2013

Great Britain secured their third medal of the 2013 Modern Pentathlon European Championships as Kate French, Samantha Murray and Mhairi Spence won the women’s team gold in Poland today (Monday).
And Freyja Prentice just missed out on an individual medal, coming home in fourth place in Drzonkow in her first major competition since recovering from a hamstring injury.
Samantha Murray, the London 2012 Olympic silver medallist finished seventh in the individual competition, with Kate French achieving her highest senior finish in 10th and reigning world champion Mhairi Spence coming 12th.
The team gold was the second gold medal of the championships for Murray and French, who were both members of the GB relay trio that won team relay gold on the opening day of the event.
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB Performance Director, said: “They dominated the team competition today, everything went for them. It was a really well deserved gold medal and a very positive experience for them.
“An individual medal didn’t happen today, but the competition was really stiff. It was a very successful day and a good stepping stone for the world championships,” he added.
Spence made the best start among the Brits. The reigning world champion is a strong fencer and she proved it today, winning 21 bouts and losing just 13 for joint fifth place with 928 pentathlon points.
Murray and Prentice both fenced well too with 18 wins and 16 defeats for joint ninth place on 856 points. And French started the day in joint 16th, with 17 victories and 17 defeats. That was worth 832 points.
Russia’s Donata Rimshayte led from team-mate Ekaterina Khuraskina – performances that meant the Russians led the team competition with 2808 points and with Britain in second with 2616.
Murray was the fastest of the Brits in the pool, clocking a time of 2:09.14. That was the second fastest time of the day – it was only bettered by France’s Elodie Clouvel – and added 1252 points to her total. That was enough to propel Murray to sixth overall.
Spence continued to lead the way for the Brits. Her 200m freestyle time of 2:14.40 was the eighth fastest of the day and was worth 1188 points, which saw her remain in fifth place overall.
Prentice’s 2:19.45 was the 16th quickest and a personal best earning 1128 points, putting her 13th overall. French’s 2:19.69 was 18th fastest, adding 1124 points to her total, putting her 16th going to the ride.
Ukrainian athlete Anastasiia Spas was the new overall leader.
But Great Britain had now gone into the lead in the team competition for the first time, just edging ahead of the Russians, with Hungary in third.
Murray moved up to third place behind leader Spas and second place Zsofia Foldhazi of Hungary, after dropping just 80 points from the maximum 1200 in the ride.
Prentice moved up to seventh, taking 1160 points in the ride, with Spence just behind her in ninth with a ride worth 1020.

French was just outside the top-10 in 11th place, with a riding score of 1160.
And Great Britain were looking in good shape in the team event, with a lead of more than 200 points over Hungary and Ukraine.
It was Prentice, who has just recovered from a hamstring injury and just weeks after graduating with a first class Biology degree from the University of Bath, who produced the pick of the performances in the run/shoot.
Her 12:26.44 was the fourth fastest of the day, earning 2216 points and pushing her up to fourth place overall. She finished just six seconds behind Spas, who took individual bronze.
Murray’s run/shoot time of 13:07.40 saw her end the day in seventh place overall, while French also secure a top-10 finish. Her 12:48.44 was the ninth fastest run/shoot and she finished 10th overall. Spence 13:00.24 saw her end the day in 12th place.
With French, Murray and Spence the nominated scorers for the team event, Great Britain took gold ahead of Ukraine and Germany.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) Jamie Cooke, Sam Weale and Nick Woodbridge go in the men’s final.
European Championship results
Women’s individual

Gold: Zsofia Foldhazi (HUN) – 5452 points
Silver: Ganna Buriak (UKR) – 5416 points
Bronze: Anastasiia Spas (UKR) – 5384 points
4th: Freyja Prentice (GBR) – 5360 points
7th: Samantha Murray (GBR) – 5280 points
10th: Kate French (GBR) – 5244 points
12th: Mhairi Spence (GBR) – 5216 points
Women’s team
Gold: Great Britain (Kate French, Samantha Murray & Mhairi Spence) – 15740 points
Silver: Ukraine (Ganna Buriak, Viktoriya Tereshchuk & Iryna Khokholova) – 15600 points
Bronze: Germany (Annika Schleu, Lena Schoneborn & Ronya Doring) – 15396 points
British medals at the championships
Women’s team relay - Katy Burke, Kate French & Samantha Murray
Women’s team – Kate French, Samantha Murray & Mhairi Spence
Men’s team relay – Jamie Cooke, Sam Curry & Joe Evans
The GB team for Modern Pentathlon European Championships in Drzonkow in Poland is:
Katy Burke – 01.06,89, Cleveleys, near Blackpool – Bath
Kate French  - 11.02.91, Meopham, Gravesend - Bath
Samantha Murray – 25.09.90, Clitheroe, Lancashire – Bath
Freyja Prentice -  20.05.90 – Stavanger, Norway - Bath
Mhairi Spence – 31.08.85, Farr, near Inverness - Bath
Jamie Cooke  - 03.03.91, Cheltenham – Bath
Sam Curry – 03.09.93, Redhill - Bath
Joe Evans - 05.09.93, Whitchurch, Shropshire – Bath
Sam Weale – 09.02.82, East Coker near Yeovil, Somerset
Nick Woodbridge – 01.07.86, Wellington, Shropshire - Bath
European Championships schedule
Thursday 11 July – women’s team relay – Katy Burke, Kate French & Samantha Murray
Friday 12 July – men’s team relay – Jamie Cooke, Sam Curry & Joe Evans
Saturday 13  – women’s individual semi-finals – Kate French, Samantha Murray, Freyja Prentice and Mhairi Spence
Sunday 14 July – men’s individual semi-finals – Jamie Cooke, Sam Weale & Nick Woodbridge
Monday 15 July – women’s final – qualifiers from Saturday
Tuesday 16 July – men’s final – qualifiers from Sunday
Wednesday 17 July – mixed relay – Jamie Cooke & Kate French