Fab four named as Team GB's London 2012 modern pentathletes
Friday, 08 June 2012
June 8 - Four of Britain's top modern pentathlon stars have booked their spots at the London 2012 Olympics after the British Olympic Association (BOA) announced here that Mhairi Spence, Samantha Murray, Nick Woodbridge and Sam Weale have all been officially selected to represent Team GB at the Games.
The announcement comes following a hugely competitive qualification period during which eight British athletes exceeded the Olympic qualification standard.
Team GB will, therefore, field a full complement of two male and two female athletes in the modern pentathlon competition for the second successive Olympics.
Woodbridge represents perhaps Britain's biggest medal chance, with the 25-year-old from Shropshire currently ranked fifth in the world.
"I'm really excited about competing at my second Olympic Games and even more so given that it's in London," he said.
"I'm in the best shape of my career so far and I have a lot more experience than four years ago in Beijing.
"I'm aiming to win a medal at this Olympics, like I did at the World Cup Final in Greenwich a year ago."
Weale (pictured below), also competed at Beijing 2008 and is in confident mood ahead of London 2012 too.
"I am delighted to have been selected for my second Olympic Games," said the 30-year-old from Yeovil, who recently became the first British man to win a European Championships medal.
"Being a home Games it truly will be a once in a life time experience and I will be doing my very best to make the country proud."
However, there is perhaps bigger pressure on the women given that Britain's female modern pentathletes have an outstanding track record at the Olympics, securing four medals since the women's event was added to the Olympic programme at Sydney 2000, including a gold for Stephanie Cook at Sydney.
Both Spence (pictured below) and Murray are Olympic debutants.
But they have already proved their Olympic credentials as Spence, 26 and from Inverness, won World Championship gold this year and Murray, the 22-year-old from Preston, claimed the bronze medal.
"I find it hard to find words to describe how excited I am to be part of the British team for the London 2012 Olympic Games," said Spence.
"I've dreamed of competing at an Olympics since I was eight years old and I feel like it's so much more special because the Olympic Games will be in London."
Murray was equally thrilled.
"Competing at a home Games is the opportunity of a lifetime and I can't wait," she said.
"I'm going there with the aim of winning a medal and it will be great to have a home crowd behind me."
At London 2012, the men's competition takes place on August 11, followed by the women's competition a day later, which will make the women's medals the last medals won at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
"With less than 50 days to go to the London 2012 Olympic Games it is great to welcome a full complement of four modern pentathletes as officially selected members of Team GB," added Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt.
"Their addition sees the tally of athletes selected to Team GB – Our Greatest Team – rise to 182 from 15 sport disciplines.
"The fact that eight British athletes achieved the modern pentathlon Olympic qualification standard is a tribute to the excellent performance programme that has been developed by Pentathlon GB.
"The four athletes selected today have demonstrated their great potential with impressive results at world level over the past 12 months, most notably through the gold and bronze medals won by Mhairi and Samantha respectively at the World Championships.
"British modern pentathletes have an excellent track record in Olympic competition, winning four medals in the last three Games.
"We will do everything we can to support them in their quest to win a medal for the fourth consecutive Olympic Games.
"With the support of a passionate and vocal home crowd behind them, I have every confidence they will deliver inspirational performances."
May 2012: Bittersweet silver for Fell as Adauskaite takes modern pentathlon World Cup
May 2012: British pair book London 2012 places with gold and bronze at modern pentathlon World Championships
May 2012: Exclusive - Pentathlete Katy Livingston on how her Olympic hopes stalled on a horse
April 2012: Murray wins first World Cup medal with bronze as Prokopenko takes gold
March 2012: Murray hurries to modern pentathlon success in Budapest Cup