Home Kent News Team GB’s Kate French brings Olympic gold back to Kent in pentathlon

Team GB’s Kate French brings Olympic gold back to Kent in pentathlon

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Original article from Kent Live

Kent Team GB star Kate French has triumphed in the women's pentathlon at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Kate managed a stunning finish to the drawn-out event as she turned in a ruthless run-and-shoot performance.

The 30-year-old was in fifth place heading into the final round, during which she leapfrogged the leaderboard in a sensational manner.

Read more: Millions have been inspired by the Olympics

The runner led the field after the first lap and didn't look back as she crossed the line in first place.

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After the race, Kate sat beaming by the track as she realised she had taken home the gold medal, a four-place improvement on her fifth place at Rio 2016.

Kate told the BBC: "I actually don’t know what just happened – I can’t believe it right now.

"I just knew I had to focus, and I knew I could do it if I focussed on my shooting and ran as fast as I could.

Kate did Team GB and Kent proud

"Thanks to my team supporting here and to my family at home. I couldn't have done it without them."

Kate is from Meopham, near Gravesend, and has been training in modern pentathlon since the age of 11.

The event comprises of five different disciplines in fencing, freestyle swimming, equestrian show jumping and the final run-and-shoot.

The final event, which won Kate the gold, is four legs of laser pistol shooting followed by an 800m finale.

The athlete left it late but was as cool as a cucumber in the final 800m

Kate missed just two of her 22 shots before running strong.

Tokyo 2020 is the first time all of the events have been held at the same place with a pool erected at one end of the Olympic stadium specifically to facilitate the pentathlon.

Kate claimed the gold medal ahead of Lithuania's Laura Asadauskaitė in silver and Hungary's Sarolta Kovács in bronze.

The Kent athlete's medal became Team GB's 55th medal of the Games and the nation's 18th gold medal.

The unique event includes showjumping

Modern pentathlon was created by Baron Pierre De Coubertin with the aim of, believe it or not, simulating the battles faced by an infantryman caught behind enemy lines.

A fascinating aspect of the competition is that athletes must ride a horse they have never worked with before in the equestrian show jumping event.

They get just 20 minutes to bond with the animal before mounting for their performance.

Team GB has a rich history of pentathletes in recent Games, with Kate Allenby, Georgina Harland, Heather Fell and Samantha Murray all winning Olympic medals for the nation.

Kate, however, is the first to come home with the gold and be able to call herself an Olympic champion.

Original Article