Olympic hopefuls get World Cup chance

22 March 2012 / 16:58

All Britain's modern pentathlon Olympic hopefuls will get the chance to stake their claim for a spot in London at the final two World Cups of the season next month.

Six women and three men are in contention for the four places available at the Games, although Freyja Prentice and Jamie Cooke are the only home athletes so far to have achieved the qualifying standard.

Both will compete at the third World Cup of the year in Szazhalombatta, Hungary from April 12-15, alongside Katy Burke, Samantha Murray, Mhairi Spence, Nick Woodbridge, Sam Weale and Steven Mason.

A week later the competition moves to Rostov in Russia, where Burke, Murray, Woodbridge, Weale and Cooke will all be in action again, with Beijing Olympians Heather Fell and Katy Livingston joining the team.

Spence, who won a silver medal at the opening World Cup in Charlotte, USA, is the top-ranked British athlete at fifth in the world, four places ahead of Fell, with Burke, Murray and Livingston currently the outsiders to make the Olympic team.

Among the men, Woodbridge began the season in good form with two sixth-placed finishes at the opening two World Cups and is ranked ninth, while world junior champion Cooke is 16th and Weale, who gained a valuable seventh place in Rio last weekend, is 23rd.

The World Cup results will be used to decide the British team for the World Championships in Rome in May, which is the next opportunity for athletes to achieve the Olympic qualifying standard with a top-three finish.

Pentathlon GB performance director Jan Bartu said: "Once they get to the World Cups they need to go flat out. That's how it is at this point, there's no hiding place."

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