Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Kate French storms to pentathlon gold for GB

Britain’s Kate French produced a stunning finale in the modern pentathlon to net an 18th gold of the Tokyo Games for Team GB.

Kate French crosses the finish line of the women's individual laser run winning the gold medal in the modern pentathlon
Kate French crosses the finish line of the women's individual laser run winning the gold medal in the modern pentathlon

The 30-year-old left the field trailing in her wake in the final event, the laser run – a 3,200-metre run that includes four shooting stages.

Although she began the last section of the pentathlon in fith place, she took the lead in the second running section and maintained her lead over her rival.

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French finished more than 15 seconds faster than London 2012 champion Laura Asadauskaite, who produced her own impressive finale as the Lithuanian burst through from 13th to take silver.

French also set a personal best in the 200m freestyle swimming portion of the pentathlon as she secured an Olympic-record points total of 1,385.

During the laser run she missed just twice in 22 shots but it was the running sections where she began putting distance between herself and the other competitors.

"I just knew I had to focus. I knew I could do it if I focused on my shooting and ran as fast as I could," French told the BBC afterwards.

French was handed a huge boost when Germany’s Annika Schleu, who was leading the event overall, had her medal hopes dashed during the showjumping round when her horse refused several fences, and she plummeted from first to 31st.

French’s success means GB have medalled in every women’s modern pentathlon competition aside from Rio 2016 since the sport was introduced to the Olympics in 2000.

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