By Nick Butler

modern pentathlon articleJuly 24 - Reigning world champion Mhairi Spence will defend her title at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Taiwan next month after being selected as part of a four person British women's team, alongside Olympic silver medalist Samantha Murray.

Spence won the title in Rome in May 2012 after overhauling three-time France's world champion Amelia Caze in the final stages of the combined run-shoot competition for a thrilling victory.

She subsequently suffered the disappointment of a lowly 21st place finish in her home Olympics but - after winning a team gold medal at the recent European Championships in Poland - has returned to somewhere near her best and has ruled out a successful title defence.

"I was really proud to win the World Championships last year," she said.

"I finally achieved what I knew I could do. It's nice when you know you're the best in the world at something, not everyone gets to be a world champion.

"The World Championships have a big meaning for me, because it was also my first individual gold medal.

"I don't think it puts any more pressure on me this time around though.

I always go to competitions wanting to do the best I can and wanting to get on the podium."

Mhairi Spence crossing the line to win the world titleMhairi Spence crossing the finishing line to win her first world title in Rome in 2012, a feat she will be aiming to repeat in Taiwan next month

Spence will be joined by Murray, who will be looking to improve on a World Championship bronze medal in 2012, along with Kate French and Freyja Prentice.

French, Murray and Spence formed the British team which took the European team title earlier this month, while Prentice finished fourth individually to become the best performing Briton on her return to action following a lengthy spell out injured.

On the men's side 2011 world junior champion Jamie Cooke, who won his first ever World Cup in Hungary in May, is confirmed in the team alongside Sam Weale.

Both Joe Evans and Nick Woodbridge have been provisionally selected and will have their places confirmed subject to fitness tests, with Evans finishing seventh this week at the World Junior Championships.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]