Pentathletes ready to battle for 8 Olympic qualification spots at European Championships
Monaco, 27 July 2011 - The 2nd biggest Modern Pentathlon event on the calendar, the 2011 European Championships is about to begin in Medway, Great Britain on 28 July - 1 August 2011.
The European Championships takes on additional significance this year as it serves as a qualification event for the 2012 London Olympic Games with the top 8 athletes obtaining their Olympic ticket for next year.
Medway Park, which held World Cup #3 in 2010 is the prefect facility for Modern Pentathlon, with all the 5 disciplines happening in one location. The centre, which has recently undergone an 11 million pounds development, will be officially opened on Thursday 28 July by IOC Member Princess Anne.
UIPM Secretary General Joël Bouzou: "We are very happy to again have a top class competition in Medway Park. The facilities are the highest quality which is fitting for a competition of this level with 8 Olympic qualification positions available. Holding this event in Great Britain also gives the public another opportunity to learn about our great sport heading into the 2012 London Olympic Games."
David Svoboda (CZE) will be looking to defend his European crown won last year in Hungary and also qualify for his 2nd Olympic Games after missing the opportunity at the World Cup Final. Svoboda will be pushed all the way by the 2011 in form athletes of Adam Marosi (HUN) and current World #1 Aleksander Lesun (RUS) who is fresh off his silver medal performance at the World Cup Final. They will both want their maiden European Championship crown in Medway.
2010 European and World Champion Amelie Caze (FRA) will be making her comeback from injury in Medway after missing the World Cup Final. Despite her layoff the World #2 will start the event as red hot favourite after dominating the sport in 2010. World #1 Lena Schoneborn (GER) will be full of confidence after her World Cup Final triumph earlier in the month and will be desperate to add European Champion to her already impressive list of titles.
The patriotic British public will be out in force for the sell-out event hoping to cheer on the British team into those all-important 8 Olympic qualification spots. Both the British women and men are in the form of their lives. 2008 Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell and Mhairi Spence are World ranked #4 and #5 respectively after a strong 2011, so both will be aiming for a podium finish.
Nick Woodbridge will be buoyant after his best ever performance at the World Cup Final grabbing bronze as will James Cooke who smashed the Pentathlon swimming World Record at the event. Together with 2010 European Championship silver medallist Sam Weale they will be hoping to impress the local crowd and gain Olympic qualification for a dream home Olympic Games.
As well as individual honours up for grabs, the athletes will also be battling for relay glory on Monday 1 August. Both the men and women will compete in team relays which acts as qualification into the UIPM World Championships in September.
Fans around the world will have the chance to watch these, and other great athletes and share in the excitement of Modern Pentathlon. The UIPM will broadcast the entire finals days live on Pentathlon TV @ pentathlon.org on 30-31 July 2011. The broadcast will feature the fencing and swimming events live as well as live coverage of the riding and combined event.
July 28 Men's Qualification
July 29 Women's Qualification
July 30 Men's Individual Final
July 31 Women's Individual Final
August 1 Men's and Women's Team Relay
Will Svoboda repeat his extraordinary performance from the 2010 European Championships? Will Fell perform in front of her home crowd? Will Marosi continue his strong form in 2011? Let's see... Come and back your national heroes and visit the European Championships at Medway, GBR or visit our website at pentathlon.org