Britain’s pentathletes to tackle GB Open in Solihull
Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray and former world champion Mhairi Spence are among an array of the country’s most talented modern pentathletes competing at the GB Open Pentathlon Championships in Solihull later this month.
The championships are organised by Pentathlon GB, the national governing body for the Olympic sport of modern pentathlon and take place at the Tudor Grange Leisure Centre and the Solihull Riding Club on Sunday 29 June.
They double as the British Championships and the highest placed British finisher in both the men’s and women’s competitions will earn places on the Pentathlon GB team for the European Championships in Hungary next month.
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB performance director, said: “The GB Open is part of the selection process for the European Championships for the second consecutive year. That makes it an important competition for the British athletes.
“We also have some competitors from overseas this year and we want to see the competition grow as an international event in future years.”
Samantha Murray, who won the senior title last year, and Mhairi Spence will be joined in the women’s competition by Kate French, currently the highest British woman in the world rankings at 14. She produced the best performance of her career to date to finish fourth at the World Cup Final in Sarasota at the weekend.
The trio that won team gold at last month’s World Junior Championships will also feature - Jo Muir, currently number one in the world junior rankings, Francesca Summers and Alice Fitton.
There is also a high class field in the men’s competition, reflecting Britain’s strength in the sport.
It includes Jamie Cooke, Britain’s 2011 world junior champion, who won the senior event last year. Joe Choong, who won the junior and overall titles in 2013, also competes, as does Joe Evans, who won bronze on his senior World Cup debut in the USA last year.
Nine young Hungarian athletes will also contest the championships – six men and three women.
The action gets underway at Tudor Grange Leisure Centre at 8am on Sunday 29 June with athletes taking part in the 200m freestyle swim, and should conclude by 6pm. A full schedule will follow shortly.
There will also be youth competition taking place on the Saturday and the Sunday.
The 2014 Bericap Senior European Championships take place at Szekesfehervar in Hungary from 10 to 15 July.
The Olympic sport of modern pentathlon sees athletes compete in fencing, swimming, show jumping and a run/shoot using laser pistols, all in one day.
Britain is one of the most successful countries in the sport, with British athletes winning medals at each of the last four Olympic Games.
The British team is based at the Pentathlon GB National Training Centre at the University of Bath.