An outstanding week of international sport is concluding at the University of Bath Sports Training Village on Sunday as the women’s final takes place at the 2019 Modern Pentathlon European Championships.
There are four Pentathlon GB athletes in a world-class field, with Kate French, Jo Muir, Francesca Summers and Jess Varley hoping to draw inspiration from Saturday’s magnificent victory for Jamie Cooke in the men’s final plus overall team gold for the Brits.
Tickets will be available on the door for the afternoon’s decisive riding and laser-run events, which will determine not only the destination of the medals but which athletes will secure one of the eight Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification places on offer.
8.35am – SWIMMING: France’s Elodie Clouvel, who won silver at both the 2015 European Championships in Bath and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, got her quest for a gold medal off to a flying start as she set the fastest time of 2:10.03 in the London 2012 Legacy Pool – more than a second quicker than her qualifying time.
Russia’s Gulnaz Gubaydullina, the 2017 World Champion, clocked 2:10.57 and Alice Sotero of Italy was third-fastest in 2:11.06.
Having smashed her personal best in the semi-finals, Britain’s Jo Muir recorded another good time of 2:15.12 to sit ninth overall, while Kate French (2:18.20), Francesca Summers (2: 21.68) and Jess Varley (2:23.64) were 17th, 26th and 30th respectively after the opening event.
1pm – FENCING: Iryna Prasiantsova of Belarus, a relay gold-medallist at both the World and European Championships in 2018, produced a fantastic fencing performance to move up to second overall with 27 wins from her 35 bouts.
Compatriot Volha Silkina also impressed with the third-best total of 23 wins, just one behind Clouvel who extended her overall advantage.
Germany’s Janine Kohlmann, London 2012 Olympic Champion Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania and Hungary’s Sarolta Kovacs put themselves firmly back in the medal mix with fine performances and French produced a strong finish to the round to climb up to seventh both in the fencing and overall. She carried that form into the bonus round, gaining four more valuable points to advance two further places.
Summers was among the leading pack for most of the ranking round and, despite a blip towards the end, came away with 20 wins while Muir and Varley recorded 16 and 11 victories apiece.
Defending champion Marie Oteiza and reigning World Champion Anastasiya Prokopenko among a strong field #fencing in the #ModernPentathlon European Championships women’s final at the @UniofBath STV #GladiatorsReturn pic.twitter.com/hfNo3IcfqY
— Team Bath (@TeamBath) August 11, 2019
4.30pm – RIDING: The sound of thunder greeted the start of the riding round and while the rain mostly stayed away, the slippery course conditions provided a major test for the competitors with some of the early riders being dismounted.
There were four eliminations too, with leader Clouvel seeing her hopes of a medal unfortunately dashed by four refusals in the last ride of the afternoon. Russia’s Guinaz Gubaydullina had suffered a similar fate on the same horse in the first round.
French was one of only five riders to go clear as she recorded the second best score of 296 points, moving her up to second in the overall rankings behind Prasiantsova who advanced one place thanks to a steady ride where she picked up just 17 penalties.
Good rides saw Silkina consolidate her hold on the bronze-medal position and Ireland’s Natalya Coyle move up to fourth, while a clear round helped Poland’s Oktwakia Nowacka move from 13th to fifth.
Russia’s Adelina Ibatullina was the only rider to record a perfect score of 300 and GB’s Summers climbed into the top-ten rankings after conceding just ten time penalties.
Muir and Varley also impressed in testing conditions, placing seventh and 13th in the round to move up the leaderboard and boost GB’s chances of winning a team medal.
— Team Bath (@TeamBath) August 11, 2019
6pm – RUN-SHOOT: Prasiantsova held a five-second lead going into the laser-run but was quickly overtaken by French. However, Laura Asadauskaite – who started sixth – was moving ominously through the field and she had taken the lead by the midway point of the third lap and went on to win by nine seconds.
French and Prasiantsova held their nerve and form to secure the other two medals, while Muir performed superbly to finish fourth and complete a strong afternoon. Summers also ran well, advancing from eighth to seventh on the line to help GB secure team gold.