Gold for Britain’s women at pentathlon Europeans

  • A strong performance by Great Britain’s women resulted in a team gold at the European Modern Pentathlon Championships.

    The championships were held in Bath from 18-23 August.

    Britain’s Kate French also secured her Rio 2016 Olympic spot, finishing eighth individually.

    Fellow team members Samantha Murray, who qualified for Rio at the World Championships in June, finished in 10th place with Freyja Prentice in 13th.

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    Germany took silver and Italy picked up bronze in the women’s team event.

    Reigning Olympic champion Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania won individual gold with France’s Elodie Clouvel in silver and Germany’s Lena Schoneborn in bronze.

    In the men’s individual competition, Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe (pictured, below) became the first ever Irish pentathlete to win a European gold medal.

    Arthur Lanigan OKeeffe at European Champion Medal ceremonyIn silver was France’s Valentin Prades and Riccardo De Luca from Italy took bronze.

    Arthur, who was in second place going into the riding section, has also now qualified for the Olympics.

    He jumped a clear round with his drawn horse, Davis, and had just five points deducted for time.

    “I was really lucky with the horse I got, he was really sweet,” Arthur added.

    “[Winning] basically means the world to me, our whole season has been focused on peaking at this one moment and we peaked at it, so it gives me great confidence going into Rio.

    “I’ve now qualified for the Olympics, I’m the European champion – it is pretty much up there with the top days of my life.”

    In 2012, Natalya Coyle and Arthur were the first Irish modern pentathletes to qualify for an Olympics.

    The men’s team competition was won by France with Russia in silver and the Czech Republic in bronze.

    Great Britain’s men’s team finished in seventh place, with team member Joe Choong picking up a Rio qualification.

    Joe was the highest-placed Brit, finishing in seventh place individually and is the first British male penathlete so far to qualify for next summer’s Olympics.

    However, his Olympic place is not yet guarunteed. If more than two British men reach the qualifying standard, he will have to go through a selection process in June.

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