01 October 2020

Pentathlon: Spence & Murray achieve Olympic qualifying standard at World Championships

May 14, 2012

Britain’s Mhairi Spence achieved the London 2012 Olympic qualifying standard in style by winning gold at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Rome on Saturday.

And there was further success for the British team with Samantha Murray producing a terrific finish to take bronze and also achieve the Olympic qualifying standard.

It means three British women have achieved the 2012 Olympic standard to date with Freyja Prentice also achieving the feat at last year’s European Championships.

Further GB athletes could achieve the standard through the Olympic ranking list – but only two athletes per gender per nation can compete in the pentathlon at the Games.

Spence, who went to the World Championships ranked fifth in the world, becomes the first British woman to win the individual gold at a Modern Pentathlon World Championships since Steph Cook in 2001.

And there was further success for Spence and Murray, who joined forces with Heather Fell to win team gold to take the team’s medal tally at the championships so far to four following the team relay bronze won by Katy Burke, Kate French and Katy Livingston on the opening day of the championships.

Spence said afterwards, “People were cheering me on coming down the home straight at the end and I found some extra energy somewhere. I just kept fighting and fighting all the way.

“I worked so hard all day to keep it together. When I got to the shooting range I found the flow that we’re always looking for in sport.

“It’s unbelievable, I’m just so happy. I’ve got a great team behind me. Everyone has worked so hard to get me here. We’ve worked really hard for this.”

Murray had worked her way up into third place by the final run, but was overtaken by China’s 2009 World Champion, Qian Chen towards the end. But she too overhauled Caze with a sprint finish to come home in third and take bronze.

The University of Bath French and Politics student said she was delighted to win the individual bronze and achieve the Olympic qualifying standard, “I can’t believe it, I had to work really hard for it on the home straight. I’m so pleased and proud.”

Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB Performance Director, said, “It’s been a terrific day for the British team. As far as the British ladies’ team is concerned, it’s our best World Championships since 2001.

“It was a heroic performance by Mhairi. She was really running on empty in the last 200m. It was amazing to see Samantha overtaking Caze at the end.

“It’s been an emotionally charged day and we’re massively proud. It’s fantastic reward for the whole team and coaching staff, but also for the support staff back in Bath and for UK Sport who have provided funding.

“We are proud that we have proved again that we are good value for money.

“We now have one or two days to come back to mother earth, regroup, refocus and continue working hard towards London.”

Lizzie Flint, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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