A memorable week of Modern Pentathlon European Championships action concludes at the University of Bath Sports Training Village on Sunday with the women’s final.
University of Bath graduate Samantha Murray, the London 2012 Olympic silver-medallist and 2014 World Champion, is among those going for glory in a world-class field.
Eight Rio 2016 qualification places are also up for grabs, with Pentathlon GB’s Kate French, Freyja Prentice (pictured, by Phil Searle) and Francesca Summers hoping to emulate Mathematics student Joe Choong’s achievement in Saturday’s final.
We will be providing updates throughout the day, with the final medals being presented around 6pm.
4.30pm: RIDING An eventful afternoon in the show-jumping arena, in which there was just one clear round and plenty of refusals, has shaken up the standings, although it is still Elodie Clouvel who holds a 26-second lead going into the combined run/shoot. Ukraine’s Anastasiya Spas moves to second after an impressive ride in which she picked up just three time penalties.
Russia’s Gulnaz Gubaydullina secured the only maximum 300-point haul to climb from ninth to joint third with Germany’s Janine Kohlmann.
Gubaydullina said: “I’m feeling great. I did everything my trainer told me to so everything is great. I hope that things will go equally well in the combined. All is going to plan as my trainer says.”
Lena Schoneborn and Laura Asadauskaite show their quality by finishing joint fourth in the ride, putting them seventh and 11th overall respectively.
Samantha Murray has three fences down and will start the combined event in ninth, 51 seconds behind Clouvel. Kate French produces an excellent ride, just clipping the last fence, to move up to 15th overall, one place ahead of Freyja Prentice who was 12th in the ride.
“I didn’t quite find that happy balance in my ride,” said Prentice. “It was a really nice horse and I knew I needed to ride forwards but on one of the jumps she was a bit too forwards and on another I tried to check her a bit too much.
“That’s the challenge with modern pentathlon because you don’t get that long to work out your horse and you’ve got to make do with what you’ve got. It’s annoying because I felt like I rode quite well and two poles is quite a lot of time to make up but that seems to be my day today.
“The riding staff have done a really good job. It is quite a tough course and it’s quite slippy because of the rain but the horses are very good and I think that’s good for us because we are a stronger nation in riding. It means that somebody who isn’t necessarily so strong will struggle and that’s how it should be in modern pentathlon.
“I’m not as confident as I would usually be going into a combined. I’ve been injured in the lead up and it was a bit of a do or die as to whether I was going to make the competition so I’m definitely not as fit as I’d like to be. However, it’s my last race and last competition of this year so I’m going to give it my all.
“It’s great to have the home support. I didn’t think I was going to be able to compete here, so getting the chance to compete in front of my family is lovely and it gives me a chance to show them what I can do, even if it’s not quite as good as I’d like.”
Francesca Summers, 13th in the ride, will start in a pack of athletes two minutes behind the leader.
2.30pm: If the Pentathlon GB women need inspiration this afternoon, they only need to look to the stands where three Olympic medallists are cheering them on. Dr Stephanie Cook and Kate Allenby famously won gold and bronze respectively at Sydney 2000, while Georgina Harland bagged bronze at Athens 2004.
“It’s great to be back in Bath and see what a fantastic job they have done in staging this competition,” said Cook. “It is an amazing venue and there is such a good atmosphere, especially for the Brits.”
Another British Olympic medallist, Heather Fell, is in the commentary box for this afternoon’s ride and combined run/shoot. If you’re not at the Sports Training Village, watch all the action here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4CgLsgY5Gw