Tokyo gold the aim for French after World Cup Final success

Tokyo gold the aim for French after World Cup Final success

Kate French does not intend to settle for anything less than gold at Tokyo 2020 after the British modern pentathlon star clinched top spot at the World Cup Final in Hungary.

The 30-year-old Olympian concluded her phenomenal World Cup season by winning another gold medal following a dramatic laser run finale.

French was second going into the final event but showed her class to storm to victory, with team-mates Jo Muir and Francesca Summers in sixth and eighth respectively.

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And having already won World Cup gold in Budapest earlier this year, as well as a silver in Sofia, another podium-topping performance makes French a firm favourite in Tokyo.

“It’s been a long process to get to this point so I’m really happy,” said the University of Bath-based French, who finished fifth on her Olympic debut at Rio 2016.

It was definitely tough, I can’t say I felt amazing today so I’m even happier coming away with gold. I always go into the race just thinking about my performance.

“I just aim to pick people off so I think I caught her on the third lap so from then it was all guns go. I’m heading in the right direction so I hope to keep training hard. I’m aiming for gold in Tokyo.”

French took the gold medal ahead of Germany’s Annika Schleu and home favourite Michelle Gulyas but it was not always easy going for the Gravesend-born athlete.

She started her day with a swim of 2:19.56 to sit in 17th after the opening event, with Muir in seventh with a time of 2:13.85 and Summers 24th (2:23.14).

The fencing discipline saw French significantly boost her standing, though, with her record of 23 victories and 12 defeats securing her third place and moving her up to sixth overall.

Summers also enjoyed a strong fencing round, with her record of 22V/13D (seventh) moving her up to 11th overall while Muir dropped to 10th with her fencing record of 19V/16D (15th).

All three Brits improved their overall standing in the show jumping stage, with French climbing up to second with a score of 296 as Muir’s perfect 300 saw her move up to eighth.

Summers also creeped into the top ten with a score of 299 on her horse to leave the trio well-poised to compete for the medals going into the fourth and final event.

Egyptian Amira Kandil led the way at the start of the laser run and an unsteady early shoot from French saw her lose ground to the leader and get overtaken by Gulyas.

But French quickly recovered to overtake Gulyas and Kandil, who slipped away to finish 10th, as the Brit surged home to add another gold medal to her collection.

Muir and Summers also finished strongly to complete a day to remember for the Pentathlon GB team in Hungary, with more medal chances still to come in the men’s final.

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