Modern pentathlon: GB pair miss out on Euro medal in Bath

Mhairi Spence
Mhairi Spence (right) and Samantha Murray topped the rankings in fencing and swimming

British pentathletes Samantha Murray and Mhairi Spence missed out on a team medal at the European Championships.

They topped the rankings in fencing and swimming events, but several penalties in the show jumping saw them finish fourth in Bath.

A poor start from Murray in the shoot-run combined stage effectively ended GB's medal prospects, with the pair finishing five seconds off the podium.

Germany claimed gold ahead of Russia with Lithuania third.

The British men's team of Sam Curry and James Myatt also finished fourth, with Ukraine taking victory ahead of silver medallists Hungary and third-placed Italy.

The European Championships in Bath double up as an Olympic qualification event for individual competitions, but the team discipline is not currently part of the Olympic programme.

"I'm quite disappointed, but then that's pentathlon and you never know what's going to happen in the riding," Spence told BBC Sport.

The 2012 world champion, who finished 21st at the London Olympics, is currently ranked fifth in the British individual standings after struggling with her form over recent years.

However, she still believes she can challenge for a place at next year's Games.

"I feel I'm in quite good shape and haven't had problems with injury or illness in the last few months, so anything is possible," she said.

The top-eight finishers in the men's and women's individual competitions - on Saturday and Sunday respectively - who have not already qualified for Rio through the World Championships, will secure themselves Olympic places.

Britain's Murray has a named place for the Games by virtue of her fifth-placed finish at the World Championships in July, although her Team GB berth will not be official until the British Olympic Association ratifies her selection next year.

Freyja Prentice, Kate French and Francesca Summers must come through Friday's qualification round to be in with a chance of joining her in Brazil.

GB men Jamie Cooke, Joseph Choong, Nick Woodbridge and Thomas Toolis will compete in their qualification round on Thursday.

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