Rio Olympian Kate French leads all four Pentathlon GB women into World Cup 4 final
Fellow Olympian Samantha Murray also safely qualifies for final 36 from Group B
Francesca Summers and Jessica Varley complete full house for GB’s women’s team
Kate French, Samantha Murray, Francesca Summers and Jessica Varley all qualified for the World Cup 4 final on a superb day for Pentathlon GB’s women in Sofia. Despite holding numerous major competitions in recent years, today marked the first ever staging of a World Cup in Bulgaria as the sport entered new frontiers and it was one to the Brits liking as despite challenges throughout the day all four British women safely made it through to the final 36 on Friday.
Story of the Day – Group A
Dorking’s Summers and Fotheringhay’s Varley were both placed in qualifying group A, starting their day in the fencing hall. 22-year-old Summers who has just finished a fashion degree in Paris fared best of the British athletes, recording 18 victories from her 30 bouts. After a tough start, 23-year-old Varley responded well to end the discipline with 12 victories and 18 defeats.
It was University of Bath based Varley who led the GB duo in the pool, recording a time of 2:26.98, narrowly ahead of Summers’ 2:27.47. That meant Summers was placed in 14th with Varley 25th after the opening two disciplines and both facing a tough laser run to finish inside the qualifying places.
However, it was a task both were up to with Summers, making her second international appearance of the season, around the edge of the top 15 throughout the final discipline, crossing the line 15th to secure the final automatic qualifying place. Varley was just 1 place and 3 seconds behind her younger teammate and although well placed for one of the six additional spots in Friday’s final, faced a short wait until the end of group B for confirmation. That confirmation did follow ensuring Varley qualified for her first World Cup final of the season.
Story of the Day – Group B
Rio Olympians Kate French and Samantha Murray were both in qualifying group B, beginning their day with the swim. Clitheroe’s Murray, who still holds the modern pentathlon short course world record in the discipline continued her 2018 consistency in the pool with a time of 2:12.83, second quickest in the group. Behind her, Gravesend’s French stopped the clock in 2:22.39, leaving her safely in the middle of the group after the opening discipline.
27-year-old French has been one of the most consistent performers in the fencing hall over the last couple of seasons and continued that trend in Sofia, finishing with 19 victories and 12 defeats to her name. A short blip in the middle of the standings meant 28-year-old Murray didn’t fare as well as her GB teammate, recording 13 victories from her 31 bouts. As a result, French moved up to 6th with Murray 13th in the overall group standings heading into the laser run.
French, who made her first international appearance at World Cup 3 in Hungary last month produced another assured display in the final discipline, crossing the line 2nd to safely navigate her way into the final 36. Murray crossed the line within the main pack behind the leading couple of athletes but that was enough to ensure the 2014 World Champion qualified for her second final of the season after finishing 5th at World Cup 2 in Los Angeles.
All four Pentathlon GB women will return for the final on Friday in Sofia. Tomorrow sees men’s qualifying taking place with Jamie Cooke, Tom Toolis and Sam Curry competing for Pentathlon GB.
Courtesy of Pentathlon GB