Britain’s French finishes fourth at World Cup Final
Britain’s Kate French achieved the best result of her modern pentathlon career to date by finishing fourth on her World Cup Final debut in Florida.
Athletes qualify for the World Cup Final through their performances at the World Cup series events throughout the season.
French’s sixth at the World Cup in Chengdu, China in April had been the best individual performance of her career and helped earn her a place at the World Cup Final in Sarasota for the first time.
And despite focussing training on next month’s European Championships and the World Championships at the start of September, the world number 14 ranked athlete produced a strong all-round performance in Florida, missing out on the medals by just 10 seconds after a day of fencing, swimming, riding and a run/shoot.
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB performance director, said: “Fourth was a fantastic result, especially as Kate is in full training at this point and there was no special preparation for this competition.
“It was another very promising performance by Kate,” he added. “She was competing against some really fierce athletes in Sarasota and was very close to breaking into the medals."
The 23-year-old, originally from Meopham in Kent and now training at the Pentathlon GB National Training Centre at the University of Bath, made a strong start to her World Cup Final debut, winning 21 of her 34 fencing bouts.
That put her in joint seventh place with 226 pentathlon points. Ukraine’s Victoria Tereshuk led with 26 wins and 256 points.
Her 200m freestyle swim time of 2:14.72 was the 12th fastest of the day, adding 296 points to her total and promoting her to fifth overall.
French followed that up with a decent performance in the riding arena, where she dropped seven points from the maximum of 300, to add 293 points to her score. That was enough to see her go into the run/shoot in second place.
She couldn’t hold on to that position, but her run/shoot time of 13:25.00 was enough to earn her a creditable fourth place finish, the best performance of her career to date.
Gold went to Poland’s world number four Oktawia Nowacka, who has medalled at all three World Cup series events this year. She held off Lithuania’s London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Laura Asadauskaite to take the title, with world number two Qian Chen from China taking bronze.
World Cup Final results
Gold: Oktawia Nowacka (POL) – 1337 points
Silver: Laura Asadauskaite (LTU) – 1323 points (+ 14 seconds)
Bronze: Qian Chen (CHN) – 1320 points (+ 17 seconds)
4th: Kate French (GBR) - 1310 points (+ 27 seconds)