British women take team crown while its double gold for Lithuania at modern pentathlon World Championships
Saturday, 24 August 2013
August 24 - Britain's trio of Kate French, Samantha Murray and Mhairi Spence claimed women's team gold at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Chinese Taipei, successfully defending the title won in Rome last year.
Britain had four athletes finishing in the top 20 of the women's individual event with Freya Prentice in 15th place while 10th for French, 14th for Murray and 17th for 2012 world champion Spence saw Britain amass a total of 15,368 points which was enough to secure gold for the second year-in-a-row, ahead of China and the Ukraine.
Due to Typhoon Trami, which affected the host city of Kaohsiung, the women's riding event was postponed until today and after the fencing and swimming competitions, Murray led the field going into the riding.
But the 23-year-old Olympic silver medallist eventually finished the best of the Britons in tenth place, but their overall performance was still enough to take team honours.
Reigning Olympic champion Laura Asadauskaite proved to be the best once again in the women's individual standings as she powered her way to victory with a fantastic performance in the running/shooting event which saw her fly up the leader board.
The 29-year-old has had a mediocre season by her own standards but she proved yet again that she can deliver when it matters most as a total of 5,312 points saw her finish ahead of London 2012 bronze medallist Yane Marques, of Brazil, and Russia's Donata Rimsaite.
Justin Kinderis also excelled in the combined event and made it a Lithuanian clean-sweep of golds in the individual events as the world number four finished ahead of Britain's Nick Woodbridge and Russia's Alexander Lesun.
Woodbridge's silver medal represented the first World Championship medal for a British male since Richard Phelps became world champion in 1993.
"I was worried about my shooting because I had a lot of problems with it," said the victorious Kinderis.
"My coach and I have been concentrating a lot on that aspect so I felt good in the final.
"I also knew I was faster than Lesun around the course so I felt I had a good chance.
"I am very, very happy to win."
Woodbridge, ranked 22md in the world, revealed that his silver medal in Kaohsiung was the perfect way to round off a frustrating year that has been hampered by injuries.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet, but it feels good," he said.
"I've had a difficult year so it's nice to finish on a high.
"I've had a couple of injuries that have prevented me getting the results I wanted and I think I needed this today.
"Winning silver at the World Championships is by far my best result.
"I feel like I've worked hard for this for so many years, but I've just missed out for different reasons in the past.
"The shooting was really important today and I knew if I nailed that I would be in with a chance.
"I was in the zone in the shooting today and I only missed two shots.
"I worked as hard as I could to catch up with Kinderis at the end, but I know he's one of the best runners."
With Jamie Cooke finishing in fifth place in the individual standings and the British men coming sixth in the overall team competition, Pentathlon GB performance director Jan Bartu was delighted with how the British athletes performed.
"What a day," said Bartu.
"It's been a really tough competition for the girls, but they proved they're the best team in the world by winning the World Championships team title in consecutive years and the Europeans this year."
France won men's team gold, with an impressive four athletes finishing inside the top-10 in the individual standings while Russia and South Korea finished in silver and bronze respectively.
July 2013: Spence to defend World Championship title
July 2013: Ukraine edge out Russia for gold on final day of modern pentathlon European Championships