Plenty of positives from Hungary World Cup
GB coach Istvan Nemeth drew plenty of positives from the women’s final at the Modern Pentathlon World Cup in Kecskemét, Hungary today (Saturday).
Britain’s Kate French produced a strong run/shoot, clocking the fourth fastest time of the competition, to finish 18th overall. And London 2012 Olympian and former world champion Mhairi Spence came through her first international competition unscathed since undergoing ankle surgery. Spence whose last competition was the World Championships in August, ended the day 32nd.
“Kate has competed in five competitions this year, winning three medals and finishing sixth at the World Cup in Chengdu two weeks ago,” said Nemeth, the GB team women’s head coach. “She was doing a decent job today and ended with a good run/shoot, but she looked a little tired and showed a bit of flatness for the first time.”
Spence was competing well until her campaign was derailed in a riding arena that had witnessed a torrential downpour. Out of contention for the medals, she completed the run/shoot course at a steady pace to protect her ankle.
“The semi-final was good on Thursday and Mhairi produced some good performances today, but she isn’t yet 100 per cent fit,” said Nemeth “She ran steadily to make sure she finished the competition and she did that."
Spence was 16th after the fencing, winning 17 of her 35 contests to earn 202 pentathlon points. French could only win 12 of her bouts, putting her 35th with 172 points.
The early pacesetters were Italy’s Gloria Tocchi and Xiaonan Zhang of China, who won 25 contests for 250 points.
The British pair both jumped up the leaderboard in the swim. Spence’s 200m freestyle time of 2:19.39 was the 11th fastest of the day. It added 282 points to her total, promoting her to 12th overall.
French’s time of 2:21.98 was the 16th fastest time of the day, giving her an extra 275 points and putting her 23rd going to the riding arena. Tocchi continued to lead the field.
French remained in 23rd place going into the run/shoot. She dropped only seven points from the maximum 300 in the ride and started the run/shoot 99 seconds behind the next event leader, Oktawia Nowacka from Poland.
But Spence could only take 253 points from the ride, so she dropped down the field to 25th and went to the run/shoot 102 seconds off the lead.
French’s run/shoot time of 12:30.20 was the fourth fastest time in the field, promoting her five places to 18th overall. Spence took the run steadily, coming home in 14:07.41 for 32nd place, while completing her first competition on her return from injury.
Nowacka comfortably held on to her lead to continue her strong season to take gold.
Kecskemét women’s final results
Gold: Oktawia Nowacka (POL) – 1379 points
Silver: Xiaonan Zhang (CHN) – 1352 points
Bronze: Lena Schoneborn (GER) – 1350 points
18th: Kate French (GBR) – 1290 points
32nd: Mhairi Spence (GBR) – 1190 points
Kecskemét World Cup Schedule
Thursday 1 May: women’s qualification
Friday 2 May: men’s qualification
Saturday 3 May: women’s final
Sunday 4 May: men’s final
Monday 5 May: mixed relay
GB team for Kecskemét
(Name – date of birth, from – lives)
Alice Fitton – 05.08.94, Atherton, Greater Manchester - Bath
Kate French – 11.02.91, Meopham, Gravesend – Bath
Mhairi Spence – 31.08.85, Farr, near Inverness - Bath
Luke Tasker – 28.01.94 – Waddington, Clitheroe, Lancashire - Bath
Tom Toolis – 23.12.92, Hornchurch, north east London- Bath