• Thu. Jul 7th, 2022

Kate French inspired by ‘strong’ British women on way to modern pentathlon gold


Aug 6, 2021

Kate French was thrilled to reclaim Britain’s girl power in modern pentathlon after winning Olympic gold in Tokyo.

The Rio Games were the first since the women’s event was introduced in 2000 that Britain had not won a medal but French made up for that in spectacular fashion, keeping her cool superbly in the final run-and-shoot to set a new Olympic record.

The 30-year-old from Kent began the last event in fifth – the position she finished in Rio – but surged into the lead by the end of the first lap and never looked like letting that go, hitting her targets with her laser gun impeccably, missing just two of her 22 shots.

She follows in the footsteps of Stephanie Cook, who was the first female Olympic champion in Sydney, while Kate Allenby, Georgina Harland, Heather Fell and Samantha Murray have all won medals for Britain.

French said: “I’m so, so pleased, especially after Rio. It broke the chain of the medal run. I couldn’t be more pleased to have joined the rest of the British women that have done so, so well in the past.

“I can’t say I remember watching Steph but I know Steph and have met her many times. She’s been a real inspiration in that way and also Georgina Harland. All the British women have been real inspirations.

Kate French quickly surged to the front on the run-and-shoot (Mike Egerton/PA)
“The British women have been so, so strong and it was in the back of my head in Rio so, to have been in Rio and not got on the podium, I couldn’t be happier to be on the podium here.”

French was considered a strong medal prospect having won gold at the World Cup Final earlier this year.

She was disappointed with her fencing display on Thursday despite sitting sixth, and she dropped to eighth after the 200 metres freestyle swim on Friday, which for the first time took place in the same venue, with a temporary pool erected at one end of Tokyo Stadium.

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