GB trio qualify for World Championships final

3rd September 2014

Great Britain will have three athletes competing in the women’s final at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Poland on Friday after Samantha Murray, Kate French and Freyja Prentice qualified from the heats today. 
The trio were Britain’s nominated scorers for the team competition, so their progress to the final means Britain will be able to battle for the medals in both the team and the individual events.
But there was disappointment for Mhairi Spence in Warsaw as she was edged out of a place in the final. 
With three semi-finals taking place today, the pressure was on for athletes to secure top-eight finishes in each to book an automatic place in Friday’s final. If they missed that, they had to rely on one of the remaining places available to the next 12 highest points scorers across the three semis.
Murray and French both started well in group A. Murray won 18 of her 27 fencing bouts for 242 points and joint third place. French’s 14 wins put her in 11th place with 210 pentathlon points.
Murray produced a strong swim to leap to the top of the leaderboard. Her 200m freestyle time of 2:05.73 was worth 323 points which meant she went into the combined event with a healthy 56-second lead over the ninth placed athlete. 
French still had work to do. Her swim time of 2:16.97 was the 11th fastest, adding 290 points to her total. She went to the combined event in 15th, nine seconds off the all-important eighth place. 
Murray produced a solid combined event, crossing the finish line first to comfortably book her place in the final with a time of 13:06.41. French had to work harder, but she carved her way through the field and crossed the line in eighth to make sure she joined Murray in the final. Her combined event time of 12:23.50 was the fifth fastest in group A.
Group B started in the pool, where Spence’s 200m freestyle time of 2:12.93 was the seventh fastest, earning 302 points.
She could only win 12 of her 26 fencing bouts, which added 202 points to her swimming score and saw her go to the combined event in joint 13th. 
Spence rounded off her campaign with a combined event time of 12:56.59, the 15th fastest of group B, which saw her finish 14th overall with 1028 points and facing an anxious wait to see if that was enough to qualify for the final. 
Prentice started her campaign in the pool in group C. Her time of 2:19.43 put her 20th with 282 points. She added 218 points to her total by winning 14 of her 26 fencing bouts. That meant she went into the combined event in 13th, 11 seconds off the all-important eighth place.
She produced a spirited performance, clocking a time of 12:21.49 – the third fastest combined event in group C – to finish seventh and progress to the final. That performance also kept Britain's team campaign alive.
But there was disappointment for Spence, who found her points score wasn’t enough to progress as a ‘next highest points scorer’.
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB Performance Director, said: “Samantha, Kate and Freyja proved that they deserved to be in the team. Despite a few setbacks during the day, they competed well. 
“It was good to see Samantha looking confident and competing really well. Kate was on the back foot a bit in the fencing, so she had to run hard to be sure of getting into the final." he added.  “We always had confidence Freyja could make it into the final and she did. She still has room for improvement in the shoot, but I think that will get better in the final.”
Tomorrow (Thursday) the British men get their individual and team campaigns underway. Joe Choong, Jamie Cooke, Sam Curry and Joe Evans are all aiming for places in Saturday’s final. 
Pentathlon GB team for World Championships
Women’s individual
(* scores count towards team event)
Kate French * – 11.02.91, from: Meopham, Gravesend – lives: Bath 
Mhairi Spence – 31.08.85, Farr, near Inverness – Bath
Freyja Prentice *  – 20.05.90, – Inverurie near Aberdeen - Bath
Samantha Murray *  – 25.09.89, Clitheroe, Lancashire – Bath
Men’s individual
(three scorers to be nominated towards team event score)
Joe Choong – 23.05.95, Orpington - Bath
Jamie Cooke - 03.03.91, Cheltenham – Bath
Sam Curry - 03.09.93, Salfords, Surrey - Bath
Joe Evans - 05.09.93,  Whitchurch, Shropshire – Bath
Women’s relay
Alice Fitton  - 05.08.94 from Atherton, Greater Manchester - lives Bath
Samantha Murray – 25.09.89, Clitheroe, Lancashire – Bath
Men’s relay
Jamie Cooke - 03.03.91, Cheltenham – Bath
Tom Toolis – 23.12.92, Hornchurch, North East London - Bath
Mixed relay (tbc)
Joe Evans - 05.09.93, Whitchurch, Shropshire – Bath
Kate French – 11.02.91, from: Meopham, Gravesend – lives: Bath
World Championships schedule
Monday 1 September: women’s relay
Tuesday 2 September: men’s relay
Wednesday 3 September: women’s semi-finals
Thursday 4 September: men’s semi-finals
Friday 5 September: women’s final (including team event)
Saturday 6 September: men’s final (including team event)
Sunday 7 September: mixed relay