A seven-strong British team will contest the first Modern Pentathlon World Cup of the year, which gets underway at Palm Springs on Thursday (24 February).
The British team train at the Pentathlon GB’s High Performance Centre at the University of Bath.
Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell and Mhairi Spence, bronze medallist at last year’s Medway World Cup, head the British challenge in the women’s event.
Spence topped the Pentathlon GB rankings list after three national selection competitions, winning two of the events and finishing second to Fell in the third. Spence is currently ranked 20th in the world with Fell 13th.
Samantha Murray, world ranked 15th and studying for a degree in French and Politics at the University of Bath, and Katy Burke, ranked 19th, also go for Great Britain at the Palm Springs World Cup.
Jamie Cooke, who topped the Pentathlon GB men’s ranking list after the three selection events, competes in Palm Springs just days before his 20th birthday and just under a year after making his World Cup debut in Mexico.
He is joined by Beijing 2008 Olympian Nick Woodbridge and by Robert Flack, who competes in his first overseas World Cup.
The Palm Springs World Cup is the first to feature laser shooting in the run/shoot.
It is the start of an important season in the sport with the first quota places for the London 2012 Olympic Games up for grabs – and many of those places will be contested on British soil.
The winner of the men’s and women’s competitions at the 2011 World Cup Final, taking place in London on 9 and 10 July, will achieve quota places for 2012, as will the top eight ranked athletes in the men’s and women’s competitions at the European Championships at Medway in Kent from 28 July through to 1 August.
2011 World Cup 1 schedule in Palm Springs
Thursday 24 February: women’s qualification
Friday 25 February: men’s qualification
Saturday 26 February: women’s final
Sunday 27 February: men’s final
Major competitions in 2011
World Cup 1: Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, USA – 24-27 February
World Cup 2: Sassari, Italy – 14-17 April
World Cup 3: Budapest, Hungary – 5-8 May
World Cup 4: Chengdu, China – 26-29 May
World Cup Final: London, UK – 9-10 July
European Championships: Medway, Kent, UK – 28 July–1 August
World Championships: Cairo, Egypt – 6-14 September