University of Bath’s proud history of hosting modern pentathlon – both training and competition

16 August 2015

This week’s eagerly-awaited European Championships will be the fourth international modern pentathlon competition to be staged at the University of Bath – the proud long-term home of Pentathlon GB.

The sport’s National Training Centre was established at the University in 1998, with a host of pentathletes going on to enjoy both sporting and academic success.

Five Olympic medallists have come through the Performance Pathway System during the past 17 years, starting with Dr Stephanie Cook and Kate Allenby who famously won gold and bronze respectively at the Sydney 2000 Games.

Cook repeated that success when the University of Bath hosted round three of the World Cup the following year, beating compatriot Sian Lewis by 18 seconds.

Allenby finished fourth, while Heather Fell – a junior at the time – made one of her first appearances on the senior stage.

Four years later, the University staged the Bath International Meeting for men and women.

Georgina Harland, a bronze-medallist at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, was runner-up in a women’s competition which saw a then 19-year-old Mhairi Spence – a future World Champion – finish 15th.

Nick Woodbridge, a future double Olympian and World Championship silver-medallist, also placed 15th in the men’s event, with Charlie Unwin the top Brit in 12th place.

There was a British victory when the Bath International Meeting returned for a second instalment in April 2009, with Sam Weale winning the men’s title. Woodbridge was eighth.

There were three British women in the top ten of their competition, with then 18-year-old Frejya Prentice finishing fourth.

Fell, who had won a silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games nine months earlier, was fifth and Katy Livingston was sixth.

In 12th place, making only her second senior appearance, was University of Bath French and Politics student Samantha Murray – she went on to win a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games and gold at the 2014 World Championships.

Murray, Prentice, Spence, Woodbridge and Kate French – who was 20th in the 2009 Bath International Meeting – will all be in action at the European Championships this week.

Jamie Cooke, newly-crowned World Junior Champion Francesca Summers and University of Bath students Joe Choong and Tom Toolis are also in the British squad for the home championships.

The action gets under way on Tuesday with the mixed relay, followed by the men’s and women’s relays on Wednesday.

The men’s qualifier takes place on Thursday, with the final on Saturday. The women’s qualifier is on Friday, with the championships concluding with their final on Sunday.

Tickets for the Modern Pentathlon European Championships start at just £6 for adults and £1 for under-18s.

To purchase them or for more information, visit

For a full round-up of the Championships, visit our 2015 Modern Pentathlon European Championships page.

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