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British Pentathlon team on winning form

Britain’s modern penthalon team has high hopes of medals going in to Saturday’s final of the World Cup after winning gold in Tuesday’s team relay. Forty-three countries are taking part in the competition being held at Millfield School, Somerset.

Peter Scott, spokesman for the British team, said: “There’s a fair chance our women could get first, second, third and fourth in the individual event as well as a team gold.”

Qualifying rounds for the final took place on Thursday and Friday. They include four of the five disciplines – swimming, fencing, shooting and a 3km run. The showjumping phase is part of the final.

Leading the British effort is Olympic gold-medallist, Stephanie Cook. She is reported to be planning to retire from major individual competition after this event to continue her medical career.

Also in the frame are Kate Allenby, the Olympic bronze-medallist, Georgina Harland and Sian Lewis. If all four team members qualify, three will be nominated for their scores to make up the team result.

In the showjumping phase of the competition, riders are given 20 minutes to practice over five fences in the warm up on a horse they have never ridden.

“The eventis not a test for the horse – it’s a test for the rider,” says ride director for the competition, Philip Harland.

“We go to a great effort to select 40 horses for the event which are of about the standard – at least Grade B.”

Sixteen competitors are chosen for the final and each horse does two rounds. There are 12 fences, which have to be jumped in a time limit. The men’s final takes place on Sunday.

For more information and results in full visit www.mpwc.co.uk

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