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According to the publication, Inside the Games, 2020 Tokyo Olympic modern pentathlon champion Kate French will attempt to defend her title this summer in Paris.
French, a British athlete trains with Pentathlon GB at the University of Bath. She has only competed twice since winning gold in Tokyo. She took a break from the sport in 2023 to consider her future. However, the lure of a third Olympics proved too strong. French has returned to training refreshed, recharged and fully focused on competing at Paris 2024. She acknowledges that it will be a challenge. “I didn’t want to regret not trying. I don’t know what will happen this year. If I’m good enough or not, but I didn’t want to watch the Games on TV,” said French, who also finished fifth at Rio 2016.
It’s #gold for Kate French of @TeamGB in the women’s modern pentathlon!— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) August 6, 2021
She produces an Olympic Record for the first #GBR gold in the event since Sydney 2000!#StrongerTogether | #Tokyo2020 | @WorldAthletics | #Athletics pic.twitter.com/shVQDeR4cR
The 32-year-old is a five-time World Athletics Championship medallist and nine-time European Championships medallist with six golds and three silver.
Natasha Wodak of Canada will make one more attempt to make Team Canada in the marathon. The two-time Olympian is the Canadian record holder with her 2022 Berlin Marathon performance of 2:23:12. She said during The Shakeout Podcast interview that she will make a spring attempt, but was unable to declare which marathon she will compete in.
Wodak attempted the standard in Houston two weeks ago. She was on pace for much of the race, however, slowed and finished in the time of 2:28:42.
She will need a group that will be able to run under 2:26:50, which is the Olympic standard. Or perhaps sub 2:24:25 which is the result of the 80th-fastest marathon runner during the qualification period. Kenyan Agnes Keino ran that time in April 2023 in Vienna. World Athletics is accepting athletes based primarily on running under the qualification standard. However, qualification is also weighted on global top-80 ranking within the qualification window. Also, each country may qualify up to three men and three women only.
The 42-year-old North Vancouver athlete previously held the Canadian 10,000m (31:41.59), and half-marathon (69:41) records. In addition to her marathon record, she currently holds the national 8K best on the roads with her 25:28 from 2013.