HEATHER FELL has won silver for Great Britain in the Olympic modern pentathlon.
The 25-year-old, who was cheered on by Prime Minister Gordon Brown during the fencing earlier in the day, finished second behind Germany’s Lena Schoneborn.
Fell’s British teammate Katy Livingston finished seventh.
Fell, the 2007 European championships silver medalist, had been in second place overall since the fencing competition, in which she won 20 of her 35 duels.
She swam a season’s best in the 200m freestyle swim and retained second place through the equestrian event and into the final 3000m run.
In modern pentathlon, the athletes’ starts are staggered based on the total points they have accumulated in the first four events. First across the line wins gold.
Fell started 19 seconds behind Schoneborn and managed to almost halve the gap but the German was too far ahead.
Elsewhere, teenager Aaron Cook missed out on a bronze medal after a stirring series of fights in the taekwondo competition.
Then the 17-year-old put the boot into the judging at the Beijing University of Science and Technology gymnasium after he lost his under-80kg repechage final to China’s Guo Zhu in front of a partisan home crowd.
Cook said: “I am so gutted. I came so close. I thought the scoring was absolutely horrendous. I don’t know what the judges were looking at, they must have been looking in the crowd.
“I never tried so much in a match and it still wasn’t enough and then I didn’t know what I had to do.
“I am miles better than that guy. The crowd didn’t affect me, but it must have affected the scoring.
“I can’t believe the scoring. Words can’t explain how absolutely gutted I am to come so close to a medal. I had the right tactics. I would have been five to six points ahead in any other taekwondo fight.”
Cook could not complain about his own support.
Princess Anne turned up for his first match when he beat Anju Jason of the Marshall Islands 7-0 and then Visa mentors Sir Steven Redgrave and Dame Tanni Grey Thompson dropped in to cheer him on as he beat Venezuela’s Carlos Vasquez Caravjal. That put him in the semi-final where he was locked at 5-5 with Italian Mauro Sarmiento before a last-second strike by his opponent saw him lose, even though coach, former Cuban bronze medalist Nelson Miller, claimed it came after the bell.
The experience no doubt will be invaluable, however, when Cook takes on the world’s best again in London in four years time.
He admitted: “It was a great experience. I have to move on and train harder and in London I will definitely be on the first place on the podium.”