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Page last updated at 17:39 GMT, Saturday, 10 April 2010 18:39 UK

Woodbridge 14th behind Marosi at Medway World Cup

Woodbridge
Woodbridge was pleased with his performance in the combined run and shoot

By Ollie Williams

Britain's Nick Woodbridge could only manage 14th place in the final of the men's Modern Pentathlon World Cup Series event in Medway, Kent.

Woodbridge, Britain's lone remaining man, started badly in the fencing and a good combined event was not enough as Hungary's Adam Marosi won.

"I think it could have been something more for me," admitted the Shropshire 23-year-old, who rued his bad start.

A record eight Britons will compete in the women's final on Sunday.

British chances of a medal in that competition will be high, with Olympians Heather Fell and Katy Livingston joined by younger talents such as Freyja Prentice.

But Woodbridge appeared out of the running in the men's final from Saturday's first event, when he won just 13 of his 35 fencing bouts at the Medway Park complex, in Gillingham

"I started off with a terrible fence, one of my worst for the last two seasons," said Woodbridge.

"I was just off the rhythm. You need to be half a second ahead, not half a second behind, but it just didn't click."

Woodbridge beat world number one Marosi in the fencing but the Hungarian swept aside 25 of his opponents to open an early lead.

Olympic qualification starts next year and that's what I'm focused on

Nick Woodbridge

Woodbridge, a powerful swimmer, fought back in the pool, producing a time of one minute 54.80 seconds, the second-fastest of the day, to haul himself back up to 16th place.

The third event, the show jumping, lived up to its traditional billing as an unpredictable, occasionally bruising event for the riders - who are introduced to their steeds just 20 minutes before competing.

Mikhail Mitsyk of Belarus, the first athlete to enter the equestrian arena, lasted just under one minute before his horse, Grace, had twice dispatched him from the saddle, ending his attempt.

Greece's Dimitrios Motsios, riding Archie, required treatment from doctors after the horse unseated and fell on him, before tearing around the course for several unaided laps.

Woodbridge fared better but still posted 140 faults, leaving him starting the combined run-and-shoot a full 94 seconds behind Marosi, who held the competition lead from start to finish.

As the day-long competition entered the final straight, Marosi only just took gold from Ondrej Polivka in the tightest of finishes, with Russia's Alexander Lesun winning bronze.

Woodbridge, starting the combined event in 18th, hauled himself up to 14th by the finish, shooting in superb fashion.

"To pull that out in the combined event is fantastic," he said.

"It's my best combined for a year and a half. If I can do one of those when I'm starting in the top 10 then we're talking finishing in decent places.

British Penthathlon athlete Heather Fell

Pentathlete Fell 'not in best shape' for World Cup

"That event has been holding me up for the last 18 months. If I can improve on that throughout the season, that's all I'm bothered about.

"Olympic qualification starts next year and that's what I'm focused on."

Britain's male pentathletes have struggled to match their female counterparts since women's pentathlon was introduced to the Olympic programme for Sydney 2000.

British women have won medals at each of the last three Olympic Games, and have every chance of reaching the World Cup podium on home soil this weekend.

GB performance director Jan Bartu earlier spoke of his pride at the number of GB women to have reached Sunday's final.

Fell, Livingston and Prentice will compete alongside Mhairi Spence, Kate French, Lydia Rosling, Katy Burke and Samantha Murray.

"Having eight athletes in the top 36 in a unique achievement," said Bartu.

"There is no other nation with such depth in competition within the team as we have now with the ladies' team.

"The competition will be much more intense and the really experienced athletes will improve, so our athletes need to step up on Sunday."

This is the third of six World Cup legs this year, culminating in the World Cup Final in Moscow in June.



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