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Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 10:29 UK

Spence leads GB challenge in Rome

Mhairi Spence
Spence is Britain's leading athlete in the women's World Cup rankings

Mhairi Spence finished as the leading Briton in the fourth and final Modern Pentathlon World Cup event of the year.

Spence claimed fifth place behind Egypt's Aya Medany to move up to 11th in the overall World Cup standings.

Great Britain's three other female athletes all made the Rome final, with Freyja Prentice finishing ninth, Katy Livingston 11th and Heather Fell 34th.

Russia's Ilia Frolov won the men's event, with Britons Sam Weale and Nick Woodbridge 12th and 17th respectively.

Weale and Woodbridge were both in contention for a podium finish until the final run/shoot event when they slipped out of the reckoning.

But their results were good enough to see them both climb up the overall World Cup rankings, with Weale moving up from ninth to eighth and Woodbridge leaping 19 places to 25th, and qualify for the World Cup final in Brazil in September.

"Both Sam and Nick had a good day up to the combined event and statistically they've both improved in the shooting phase compared to previous competitions," said Jon Bartu, Pentathlon GB Performance Director.

Spence's result was her best of the season, while 19-year-old Prentice achieved her highest World Cup finish of the season in only her second event.

Fell's hopes of making an impact in Italy were hit by a difficult ride in the equestrian phase of competition which resulted in her dropping down the overall rankings from 17th to 19th.

But Spence, Prentice and Livingston all moved up the rankings off the back of their performances, with Spence standing 11th, Livingston 15th and Prentice 21st.

Britain also boast Louise Helyer in 33rd spot, which means they have five pentathletes inside the top-36 qualifying mark for the World Cup final, although only three athletes are allowed to compete from any one country.

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