Silver lining for Murray and Evans at European Championships
Samantha Murray and Joe Evans won Britain’s first medal of the Modern Pentathlon European Championships when they took mixed relay silver in Hungary today (Monday).
The British pair went into the run/shoot at Székesfehérvár with a 22-second lead over the Lithuanian team, made up of reigning Olympic champion and world number one Laura Asadauskaite and reigning world champion Justinas Kinderis.
Despite putting up a spirited battle, the British pair were ultimately denied gold by just three seconds.
Murray, Britain’s London 2012 Olympic silver medallist, held off run/shoot specialist Asadauskaite for her two shoots and two 800m legs.
But Kinderis passed 20-year-old Evans on their first running leg and although Evans shot well and hung in doggedly, he couldn’t overhaul the Lithuanian.
“It was a brilliant day and it was nice for us both to finish on a high note here,” said Evans, who competed in the mixed relay the day after contesting the men’s individual final yesterday (Sunday).
“I’m pretty shattered now. It was tough to do two days in a row, but we’ve been training well and I was prepared for it,” he said.
“We had a good fence, we won the swim and we both pulled together on the ride. We couldn’t quite hold it on the combined event, but we’re both really pleased with the medal.”
The British pair made a strong start, winning 25 of their 44 fencing bouts to accumulate 220 pentathlon points, putting them joint third alongside Lithuania. Ukraine and Belarus, were the joint leaders with 27 fencing victories each.
Evans produced a strong finish to win the 2x100m freestyle swim and move Britain to the top of the leaderboard. Murray trailed France’s Elodie Clouvel at the halfway mark, but Evans’ powerful finish overhauled Simon Casse.
The British pair’s time of 1:53.98 was worth 359 points and saw them move into a six-point lead over Ukraine, with Belarus a further eight points back.
Murray and Evans also produced a near flawless performance in the riding arena, dropping just one point from the maximum 300.
That kept them in the lead and they started the run/shoot with 22-second advantage over Lithuania in second, and a 49-second lead over Hungary in third.
Murray and Evans completed the run/shoot in 11:30.82 to take silver with Poland and Ukraine sharing bronze.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) sees the final day of competition at the 2014 European Championships, with both the men’s and women’s relay taking place. Sam Curry and Tom Toolis contest the men’s event, with Alice Fitton and Jo Muir going in the women’s competition.
The British team are based at the Pentathlon GB National Training Centre at the University of Bath.
The 2014 World Championships take place in Warsaw, Poland at the beginning of September.
The 2015 European Championships will take place at the University of Bath from 17 to 23 August and will be the first opportunity for European athletes to achieve the Olympic qualifying standard for the Rio 2016 Games.
Mixed relay results
Gold: Lithuania (Laura Asadauskaite & Justinas Kinderis) – 1491 points
Silver: Great Britain (Samantha Murray & Joe Evans) – 1488 points
Bronze: Ukraine (Iryna Khokhlova & Dmytro Kirpulyanskyy) – 1458 points
Poland (Oktawia Nowacka & Lukasz Klekot) – 1458 points
British team for 2014 European Championships
Kate French – 11.02.91, from: Meopham, Gravesend – lives: Bath
Mhairi Spence – 31.08.85, Farr, near Inverness – Bath
Freyja Prentice – 20.05.90, – Inverurie near Aberdeen - Bath
Samantha Murray – 25.09.89, Clitheroe, Lancashire – Bath
Joe Choong – 23.05.95, Orpington - Bath
Jamie Cooke - 03.03.91, Cheltenham – Bath
Joe Evans - 05.09.93, Whitchurch, Shropshire – Bath
Nick Woodbridge – 01.07.86, Telford, Shropshire - Bath
Alice Fitton - 05.08.94 from Atherton, Greater Manchester - lives Bath
Jo Muir - 30.08.94, Dumfries - Bath
Sam Curry - 03.09.93, Salfords, Surrey - Bath
Tom Toolis – 23.12.92, Hornchurch, North East London - Bath
Mixed team relay