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London 2012 Olympics qualifying: Modern Pentathlon


2010 Modern Pentathlon World Cup highlights

How qualification works:

8-10 JULY 2011
World Cup Final in London, from which first athletes will qualify
28 JULY-1 AUGUST 2011
European Championships in Medway, Kent
6-14 SEPTEMBER 2011
World Championships in Cairo, Egypt
MAY 2012
World Championships in Rome, Italy
1 JUNE 2012
Remaining places assigned using world rankings

Modern pentathlon, which comprises the sports of fencing, swimming, show jumping, running and shooting, is contested by both men and women for two Olympic titles, with 36 competitors in each event.

For each gender, two places are invitational (handed out by world governing body the UIPM once qualification is otherwise complete, to those who have missed out) and one is reserved for the host nation, Britain.

The remaining 33 places in each event are up for grabs, with a maximum of two pentathletes per nation able to qualify for the Games. Qualification is the same for each gender.

One place is awarded to the winner of the 2011 World Cup Final, which will be held in London's Greenwich Park in July as one of the first official test events in any sport ahead of the Games.

Further places are on offer at the 2011 World Championships (in Cairo, Egypt, in September), for the top three athletes.

Between January and August 2011, five continental championships account for 19 more places as follows: one from Africa, four from the Pan-American event, five from Asia, eight from Europe (the European Championships will be held at Medway, in Kent, in late July) and one from Oceania.

The 2012 World Championships (Rome, May 2012) offer three more places to the best-ranked athletes who have not otherwise qualified, and the remaining seven places are doled out based on pentathlon's world rankings as of 1 June 2012.

How are British competitors doing?

Heather Fell at Beijing 2008
Heather Fell is one of Britain's top pentathletes

Britain has a strong record in women's modern pentathlon, having won a medal at each of the three Games since the women's event made its Olympic debut at Sydney 2000.

Freyja Prentice and Beijing 2008 silver medallist Heather Fell are the top-ranked Brits, sitting on the cusp of the top 10 in the world as of January 2011. Sam Weale, a European silver medallist in 2010, is the top-ranked GB male (16th at the time of writing).

Though one place in the Olympic competition per gender is guaranteed, Britain will expect to field a maximum four athletes in total, with intense competition for places anticipated.

All places qualified are earned by nations, not athletes. So an athlete who earns a qualification place for the Games may, later, be substituted for another competitor by their national governing body.

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