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Modern Pentathlon: Olympic medallist Fell wins World Cup silver at Chengdu

May 31, 2011

Britain’s Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell (pictured) won her first Modern Pentathlon World Cup medal of the year by taking silver in Chengdu, China on  Saturday.

Heather-FellIt means British women have won medals at all four World Cups this season following Mhairi Spence’s silver and bronze at World Cup 1 and 3, and Freyja Prentice’s bronze at World Cup 2.

Fell went into the final discipline, the run/shoot in third place, 45 seconds between leader Sarolta Kovacs, Hungary’s world junior champion. But she shot and ran well, taking the lead during the second 1k run.

The 28-year-old Devonian former world number one went into the final shoot neck-and-neck with Ekaterina Khuraskina, but the Russian was quicker away from the shooting range and ran strongly to cross the finishing line six seconds ahead of Fell. Fell’s run/shoot time of 11:55.39 was the fourth fastest of the day.

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Related stories:

Modern Pentathlon: Spence wins second World Cup medal of season

Modern Pentathlon: Mhairi Spence secures World Cup silver in Palm Springs

Modern Pentathlon: Fell, Prentice and Murray take silver

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Young Brits Freyja Prentice and Katy Burke also produced top-10 finishes. Prentice produced another strong run/shoot – her 12:07.36 was the seventh fastest – to climb from 14th place to eighth, maintaining her impressive record of finishing in the top-10 in each of her World Cups.

Burke climbed a place from 10th to finish ninth overall, while Samantha Murray also finished in the top half of the 36-strong field in 16th.

Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB Performance Director, said: “Heather has been really focussed in training and I’m pleased with how she handled it today. This is a really positive result for her.”

Fell and Prentice led the British challenge early on. The pair each won 20 of their 35 fencing bouts for joint seventh place. Burke’s 17 wins put her in 17th while Murray’s 14 wins put her 27th.

Murray climbed 12 places to 15th with an impressive 2:13.27 for the 200m freestyle, the third fastest time of the day. Burke, another strong swimmer, also climbed up the leaderboard courtesy of a 2:14.71 swim, the fifth best time, promoting her to ninth.

Fell went to the ride in fourth. Her time of 2:15.55 was the seventh quickest. Prentice’s time of 2:23.37 saw her drop to 15th as all four GB athletes went into the ride in the top half of the field.

Fell kept up her challenge by going clear in the riding arena in the allotted time making her one of eight riders to bag the full 1200 riding points. That put her third going into the run/shoot – 208 point and 45 seconds behind event leader Kovacs, Hungary’s world junior champion and just two seconds behind another Hungarian, Adrienn Toth.

Burke had just one fence down to add 1180 points to her total. She went into the run/shoot in 10th place a minute and six seconds off the leader.

Prentice and Murray both dropped 40 points from the maximum, which meant Prentice went into the run/shoot in 14th a minute and 19 seconds of the leader with Murray two places and five seconds further back.

Despite Fell’s best efforts, gold went to Russia’s Khuraskina, who had gone into the run/shoot in fourth place. Germany’s Annika Schleu, went into the run/shoot in eighth and took bronze.

Tomorrow (Sunday) Jamie Cooke represents Great Britain in the men’s final. Bartu said: “It’s going to be tough for Jamie tomorrow, but hopefully he will get some inspiration from the performances of the ladies today.”

The competition in China is the final chance for athletes to try to qualify for the World Cup Final in London in July. Qualification is based on World Cup standings.

World Cup 4 women’s final results

Gold: Ekaterina Khuraskina (RUS) – 5420 pts

Silver: Heather Fell (GBR) – 5396 pts

Bronze: Annika Schleu (GER) – 5364 pts

8th: Freyja Prentice (GBR) – 5212 pts

9th: Katy Burke (GBR) – 5192 pts

16th: Samantha Murray (GBR) – 5028 pts

Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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