GB modern pentathlon pair stay in hunt

11 August 2012 / 18:32

Great Britain's Nick Woodbridge and Sam Weale stayed in the hunt for modern pentathlon medals with good performances in the show jumping phase at Greenwich Park on Saturday afternoon.

Woodbridge began in eighth place after the fence and swim and climbed one place to seventh after knocking only one fence down but incurring time faults for a score of 1156 points.

Weale did even better, collecting 1176 points to climb from 14th to ninth, and there is little to separate the leading contenders heading into the combined run and shoot, which is making its first appearance at the Olympics.

Czech David Svoboda will head off first for the biathlon-style finale, where athletes must hit a target five times with a laser gun on three visits to the range, interspersed by three laps of 1,000 metres.

Svoboda will have an advantage of one second over Cao Zhongrong of China, with world champion and world number one Aleksander Lesun of Russia in third, nine seconds back. Woodbridge will have to wait another 16 seconds to head off while Weale is 39 seconds behind Svoboda.

In the first event of the day, the fencing, Woodbridge and Weale both finished with 17 wins from 35 fencing bouts at the Copper Box.

Woodbridge was on top form to start with, winning his first five bouts and at one stage topping the leaderboard, but he tailed off rather and had to settle for joint 13th. Weale lost seven of his first nine bouts but recovering to finish in the top half of the field.

Next up was the 200 metres freestyle swim at the Aquatics Centre, which is one of Woodbridge's best events, and his time of one minute 57.32 seconds was the second fastest of the day and enough to move him up to eighth place.

Weale swum his fastest time of the year, 2min 03.40sec, while the event was won by Egypt's Amro El Geziry, who broke his own Olympic record with a time of 1min 55.70sec.

Svoboda was the leading athlete in the fencing, the Czech equalling the Olympic record with 26 victories for 1024 points.