With just 49 days to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympics, The British Olympic Association (BOA) has announced today four athletes as officially selected to represent Team GB in Modern Pentathlon at the Games.
The athletes selected to Team GB today are:
Following a very competitive qualification period, during which eight British athletes exceeded the Olympic qualification standard, Team GB will field a full complement of two male and two female athletes in the modern pentathlon competition for the second successive Olympics.
Great Britain’s female modern pentathletes have an outstanding track record at the Olympic Games, having won four medals since the women’s event was added to the Olympic Programme at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Olympic debutants Mhairi Spence and Samantha Murray will be looking to continue Team GB’s proud record in the women’s competition. Britain’s highest ranked female Spence won World Championship gold this year, while Murray claimed the bronze medal. Both will be aiming to continue their fine form in London.
In the men’s competition Nick Woodbridge, currently ranked fifth in the world, and Sam Weale secured the two men’s places. Both will compete in their second successive Olympic Games, having made their debuts in Beijing in 2008. Weale recently became the first British man to win a European Championships medal.
The men’s competition takes place on 11th August, followed by the women’s competition a day later, meaning the women’s medals will be the last medals won at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The addition of the modern pentathletes brings the total number of athletes officially selected to Team GB for London 2012 to 182 across 15 sport disciplines: archery, athletics – marathon, badminton, boxing, canoe slalom, fencing, hockey, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, synchronised swimming and table tennis.
The athletes were formally nominated to the BOA for selection to Team GB by Pentathlon GB, the representative body for modern pentathlon in the UK. The athletes were announced during a press conference at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said:
“With less than 50 days to go to the London 2012 Olympic Games it is great to welcome a full complement of four modern pentathletes as officially selected members of Team GB. Their addition sees the tally of athletes selected to Team GB - Our Greatest Team - rise to 182 from 15 sport disciplines.
“The fact that eight British athletes achieved the modern pentathlon Olympic qualification standard is a tribute to the excellent performance programme that has been developed by Pentathlon GB. The four athletes selected today have demonstrated their great potential with impressive results at world level over the past twelve months, most notably through the gold and bronze medals won by Mhairi and Samantha respectively at the World Championships.
“British modern pentathletes have an excellent track record in Olympic competition, winning four medals in the last three Games. We will do everything we can to support them in their quest to win a medal for the fourth consecutive Olympic Games. With the support of a passionate and vocal home crowd behind them, I have every confidence they will deliver inspirational performances.”
Dominic Mahony, Team GB Modern Pentathlon Team Leader said:
“For eight British athletes to have made the UIPM qualifying standard is a great achievement for the whole squad. The fact that we have four athletes who have demonstrated world class performance over the last year by winning medals and achieving top-10 finishes at major international events means we’re going to the Games with a very strong team, both in the men’s and women’s competition.”
Mhairi Spence said:
“I find it hard to find words to describe how excited I am to be part of the British team for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“I’ve dreamed of competing an Olympics since I was eight years old and I feel like it’s so much more special because the Olympic Games will be in London.
“We’re so lucky to be competing at a home Olympics. It’s something that so many athletes will never get the chance to experience.”
Samantha Murray said:
“Competing at a home Games is the opportunity of a lifetime and I can’t wait. I’m going there with the aim of winning a medal and it will be great to have a home crowd behind me. ”
Nick Woodbridge said:
“I’m really excited about competing at my second Olympic Games and even more so given that it’s in London. I love competing at home. It makes me feel so much more comfortable and relaxed.
“I’m in the best shape of my career so far and I have a lot more experience than four years ago in Beijing. I’m aiming to win a medal at this Olympics, like I did at the World Cup Final in Greenwich a year ago.”
Sam Weale said:
“I am delighted to have been selected for my second Olympic Games. Being a home Games it truly will be a once in a life time experience and I will be doing my very best to make the country proud.”