Kate French admits she couldn’t have been happier with her start to the season after clinching a silver medal in the opening World Cup of 2017.
French – who finished sixth at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio last summer – produced a sterling laser-run to climb from seventh to second and record the best World Cup result of her career in Los Angeles, USA.
It was the second time the 25-year-old has climbed the podium in a World Cup race, but her first silver, and the result launches her into the top ten of the world rankings.
In Los Angeles, French was fifth following the swimming and fencing but dropped to seventh overall after knocking down two poles during the riding.
However, she steadily climbed the leaderboard during the 3200m laser-run and managed to surge clear of Japan’s Natsumi Tomonaga and Russia’s Ekaterina Khuraskina on the final lap to seal silver, behind world No.1 Lena Schoneborn of Germany.
“I’m really happy to start my season with a medal,” said French. “I was particularly pleased with my fencing which put me in a good position to challenge.
“Although I was a little disappointed with my ride, I managed to shoot well and move up the field in the laser run.
“The last lap – when there were three of us going for two medals – was really exciting and I’m so happy that I managed to get the silver medal.
“World Cups are always hard events with strong fields and this was no different with Lena [Schoneborn], Sarolta [Kovacs, 2016 World Champion] and many other top athletes competing.
“To finish on the podium and get my best-ever World Cup result is a great feeling.”
Of the other British athletes competing in California, Jess Varley finished 18th, Samantha Murray came 22nd and Francesca Summers ended the competition in 36th.