If Kate French finds herself heading to Brazil next summer then the modern pentathlete will have the weight of history firmly on her shoulders.
It’s been 15 years since women first contested modern pentathlon at the Olympics and, in that time, Great Britain has taken five of the 12 medals awarded and never failed to make the podium.
That legacy began with Steph Cook’s gold and Kate Allenby’s bronze in Sydney and was continued four years later when Georgina Harland took bronze in Athens.
Since then there has been silver medals for Heather Fell and Samantha Murray – the latter also winning world gold in 2014.
But 2015 has not been ideal for Britain’s athletes as they failed to bring any medals home from the World Championships in Berlin.
It was the first time that the Brits had come home empty handed since Moscow 2011 but French believes this month’s European Championships in Bath are the perfect opportunity for redemption.
“It was a disappointing Worlds for the team and for me in particular. I’m looking forward to the Europeans though and having a another big competition so soon afterwards is nice as I can try and move on quickly,” she said.
“I felt I was in really good shape heading into the Worlds, I had a bit of a stomach bug I think. The main reason though was one of my shoots was not up to scratch.
“With the way the sport is and the strength of competitors, if you have just one bad event then that is you not making the final. It was one of my shoots which let me down.
“A medal would be amazing at home but a top eight finish would be really good as that is what is needed for Rio. There still a long way to go. We have to be able to prove ourselves next year too.
“So for now getting a medal at the Europeans would be a highlight, that’s what I’m focusing on and then next year is when we’ll properly start thinking about Rio.”
French is a former world silver medallist in the mixed relay and she will be kicking her European campaign off in the event before she takes on the continent’s best in the individual event.
“I am really excited. We are going to the French Pyrenees for a pre-European altitude camp,” she added. “That will help get us in the right shape for Europeans. We did a similar thing pre-worlds so we are all used to it.
“And with it being a home event, with having the extra support, I think that will help the team.
“I’ll be doing the mixed team relay on the first day at the Europeans so that will be good for me. And will be a good chance to prepare for the individuals. We will be trying to medal.
“All the competitions from now on will have qualification in mind. It’s about being consistent, we are on the right track, it’s just about building confidence.
“Hopefully the competition will be well attended. It’s really good for the sport for people to be able to come and watch it.”
© Sportsbeat 2015