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Female pentathletes reach final

MODERN PENTATHLON EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Date: Thursday, 25 June - Tuesday, 30 June Venue: Leipzig, Germany

Great Britain's Heather Fell in fencing action
Fell has been Britain's leading female at the last two European Championships

Great Britain's women all qualified for Saturday's final of the modern pentathlon European Championships.

The quartet of Heather Fell, Katy Livingston, Mhairi Spence and Louise Helyer made light of the opening day's competition in Leipzig, Germany.

Thursday's qualifying event saw the women's field cut from 38 to 36.

The men's quartet of Sam Weale, Gareth Evans, Nick Woodbridge and Russell North start competing on Friday when 63 men battle for Sunday's 36 final spots.

The results of the weekend's finals go towards determining the medals in the team competition, before the women compete in the relay on Monday and the men round off six days of competition on Tuesday with their relay event, in which Lee Ormerod will also compete for GB.

GREAT BRITAIN AT THE EUROS
2008 No medals
2007 Three medals
One gold (women's relay) & two silver (Heather Fell & women's team event)
2006 Three medals
One gold (women's team event), one silver (women's relay) & one bronze (Mhairi Spence)

Ormerod is one of three British debutants in Leipzig along with North and Evans.

"There's been a month between the last World Cup and the European Championships so this will also be a benchmarking competition for us leading up to the World Championships," said Jan Bartu, Britain's team performance director.

Bartu has already conceded that the priority for his team this season is success in the World Championships which take place on home soil at Crystal Palace from 13-17 August.

But Britain's women will be keen to match the European success they enjoyed in 2006 and 2007 when they picked up three medals in each campaign, including an individual bronze for Spence in 2006 and silver for Fell in 2007.

Fell, who won silver at the 2008 Olympics, finished fifth a year ago in Moscow behind Ukraine's Viktoriya Tereschuk.

Russia's Andrei Moiseev won the men's individual title before going on to take gold at the Olympics.

Spence was Britain's leading female in the World Cup in 11th place, with Livingston and Fell also finishing inside the top 20.

Weale led the British challenge in the men's competition in eighth spot.



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