From Pentathlon GB
Pentathlon GB has won the right to hold the European Championships at Medway Park at the end of July, 2011.
In terms of the 2012 Olympics qualification, it will be the most important competition in next year’s international calendar for our athletes because the top eight in both the men’s and women’s competitions will qualify automatically for the London Games.
The Modern Pentathlon European championships – which follow the successful staging of the Modern Pentathlon World Cup at Medway Park in April this year – will be staged from July 28 to August 1.
Pentathlon GB chief executive Peter Hart said: “We are delighted to be bringing the European Championships to Medway Park.
“The decision to return to Medway received unanimous support from the European governing body and demonstrates the high regard in which the area is now held as a home for international competition.
“With the championships also acting as an Olympic qualifier we are hoping to see our British athletes coming to Medway and clinching one of those coveted places at London 2012.”
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB’s Performance Director, said: “Pentathlon GB have achieved an unprecedented success in Modern Pentathlon at the last three Olympic Games.
“Hosting the European championships in Medway in 2011 will give us the best opportunity to qualify early for the Olympic Games and concentrate on preparing the athletes for London 2012.”
The European championships begin with the semi-finals on July 28 and 29. The top 36 men will compete in their final on Saturday, July 30 and the top 36 women will compete in their final on Sunday, July 31. The competition finishes on Monday, August 1, with the team relays.
For further information, please contact Steve Ballinger in the Pentathlon GB press office at Matchtight Ltd on 07765 071683 or visit the website www.pentathlongb.org
Notes for Editors
- Modern Pentathlon is one of Britain’s most successful Olympic sports. The sport for women was introduced to the Olympics at Sydney 2000 and since then Britain’s women have won four Olympic medals – or 66 per cent of the medals available to them. Steph Cook won gold and Kate Allenby bronze at Sydney 2000, with Georgina Harland winning bronze at Athens in 2004 and Heather Fell winning Olympic silver at the Beijing 2008 Games.
- Great Britain had the maximum complement of four pentathletes – Heather Fell, Katy Livingston, Sam Weale and Nick Woodbridge – competing at the Beijing Olympic Games. It was one of only 10 nations to have the full complement of four pentathletes in Beijing. Four British women achieved the qualifying standard for Beijing, but only two could compete, while Weale and Woodbridge became the first men to represent Great Britain in the modern pentathlon at an Olympic Games since Atlanta 96.
- The sport of modern pentathlon has traditionally consisted of five disciplines – shooting, fencing, swimming, riding and running. However, at the end of 2008 the international federation, the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM), decided to replace two of the individual elements – the shooting and running – with a combined run/shoot.
- The new combined event format sees athletes first compete in fencing – when they take-on each other athlete in the field to one hit with each bout taking a maximum of one minute; a 200m freestyle swim; show jumping – when athletes get to meet their horses just 20 minutes before going into the riding arena; then the combined run/shoot – where athletes run 60m, shoot at five targets in up to 70 seconds, run 1k, shoot at another five targets in 70 seconds, run 1k, shoot at a further five targets in 70 seconds and then finish off with a final 1k run. All of the disciplines take place in one day.
- Each performance during the day is converted into pentathlon points and the winner is the athlete to amass the most points at the end of the day. The start of the run/shoot is staggered so the athlete leading the field after the earlier disciplines starts first. This means the first athlete to cross the finish line is the winner.
- Pentathlon GB at Olympic and youth level is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP). The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England’s website at www.sportengland.org
- Pentathlon GB also receives support from M&S as part of the FTSE-BOA Initiative.