Tickets go on sale for Modern Pentathlon European ChampionshipsModern Pentathlon European Championships 2011 logo

The race is on to secure tickets for the Modern Pentathlon European Championships that are coming to Medway this summer.

Europe’s leading athletes will be competing at Medway Park in Gillingham from 28 July – 1 August, all hoping to secure one of eight qualification spots that will be up for grabs for London 2012 Olympic Games.

Tickets for the hotly-anticipated event go on sale on Tuesday, 15 March – exactly 500 days before the start of the Olympic Games and the same day that applications open for tickets for London 2012.

The European Championships will mark the one-year countdown to the start of the Olympic Games and are arguably the most important event of the season for many of the world’s leading multi-sport athletes. 

Picture of the sprint finish at the Modern Pentathlon World Cup at Medway Park April 2011The Modern Pentathlon is made up of five disciplines - fencing, swimming, show jumping, running and shooting. It was developed by the founder of the modern Olympic movement, Pierre de Coubertin, as the ultimate athletic test and in 2012 will celebrate its centenary as an Olympic sport.

Great Britain is one of the strongest pentathlon nations in the world and will be confident of success on home soil, particularly after Mhairi Spence’s bronze medal at last year’s World Cup event, also held at Medway Park.

Current Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell and Sam Weale, the 2010 European silver medallist, will also be hopeful of success in a competition that will also include the current world number ones Aleksander Lesun from Russia and Lena Schoneborn from Germany.

Spence said: “I had a great time at Medway Park - the atmosphere was amazing and it’s such a memorable experience for me. I’m really excited about coming back to Medway Park where I hope to upgrade my medal.”

The European Championships begin with an opening ceremony that will take place during the annual Medway Mile in Rochester. The semi-finals then take place on Thursday and Friday, 28 and 29 July. 

The top 36 men will compete in their final on Saturday, 30 July and the top 36 women will compete in their final on Sunday, July 31. The competition finishes on Monday, August 1 with the team relays. Fencing image from the Modern Pentathlonw World Cup 2010

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s community services portfolio holder, said: “Last year’s World Cup truly cemented Medway Park’s reputation as a world-class sporting facility.

“We are thrilled to now be hosting this prestigious Olympic qualification event and are looking forward to laying on an even better show for the athletes and spectators this year.”

Anthony Temple, Chairman of Pentathlon GB, added: “The World Cup organised by Medway Council and Pentathlon GB was later voted Best Promoted Event of 2010 by the UIPM, our sport's international federation. 

“That is a good measure of the quality of the people, enthusiasm and world class facilities that Medway has to offer. We look forward eagerly to the 2011 European Championships, which I am confident will be equally successful. Pentathlon GB is delighted to be working with Medway again.”

For more information about the European Championships and to buy tickets visit www.europentathlon2011.org/.

Tickets are available in person at The Central Theatre Box Office, The Brook Theatre Box Office and Medway Visitor Information Centre in Rochester, by phone on 01634 338338, or via the event website.

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