Best of British: Mhairi Spence of Great Britain crosses the finish line of the foot race and wins the World Championship*Photo: EPA
There was also further GB success with Samantha Murray producing a battling finish to take bronze and also achieve the Olympic qualifying standard.
It means three British women have achieved the 2012 Olympic standard to date – Freyja Prentice achieved the feat at last year’s European Championships – but only two athletes per gender per nation can compete in the pentathlon at the Games.
A decision on which two athletes will compete in London will be made next month.
Spence, from Inverness went to the Championships ranked fifth in the world and becomes the first British woman to win the individual gold at a Modern Pentathlon World Championships since Steph Cook in 2001.
The Scot clinched the gold medal during the final kilometre of the run/shoot discipline
And there was further success for Spence and Murray, who joined forces with Heather Fell, who finished 15th, to win team gold to take the team’s medal tally at the championships so far to four following the team relay bronze won by Katy Burke, Kate French and Katy Livingston on the opening day of the championships.
“People were cheering me on coming down the home straight at the end and I found some extra energy somewhere,” she said.
“I just kept fighting and fighting all the way. “I worked so hard all day to keep it together. When I got to the shooting range I found the flow that we’re always looking for in sport
“It’s unbelievable, I’m just so happy.” She added. “I’ve got a great team behind me. Everyone has worked so hard to get me here. We’ve worked really hard for this.”
Murray had worked her way up into third place by the final run, but was overtaken by China’s 2009 World Champion, Qian Chen towards the end.
“It’s been a terrific day for the British team," said Jan Bartu, the Performance Director of GB Pentathlon. As far as the British ladies’ team is concerned, it’s our best World Championships since 2001.
“It was a heroic performance by Mhairi. She was really running on empty in the last 200m. It was amazing to see Samantha overtaking Caze at the end.
“It’s been an emotionally charged day and we’re massively proud,” he added.” It’s fantastic reward for the whole team and coaching staff, but also for the support staff back in Bath and for UK Sport who have provided funding. We are proud that we have proved again that we are good value for money.
“We now have one or two days to come back to mother earth, regroup, refocus and continue working hard towards London.”
World Championships results
- Gold: Mhairi Spence (GBR) – 5484 pts#
- Silver: Qian Chen (CHN) – 5460 pts
- Bronze: Samantha Murray (GBR) – 5452 15th: Heather Fell (GBR) – 5200 pts 16th: Freyja Prentice (GBR) – 5180 pts
- Gold: Great Britain – Heather Fell, Samantha Murray, Mhairi Spence
- Silver: Hungary
- Bronze: China
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