By Mike Rowbottom

Sam Weale shootingDecember 24 - Sam Weale has become the first male athlete to win the British Olympic Association (BOA) modern pentathlon Olympic Athlete of the Year award.

The 28-year-old was named winner of the coveted award at the end of a year which saw him become the first British man to win an individual medal at a Modern Pentathlon European Championships.

The Beijing 2008 Olympian collected the individual silver medal at the Championships in Debrecen, Hungary in July.

He also just missed out on the medals at the opening World Cup of 2010, finishing fourth and ends 2010 ranked 16th in the world.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Kate French collected Pentathlon GB's Newcomer of the Year award. French qualified for the final at the first World Cup of her career at Medway, Kent in April, finishing 28th.

She just missed out on the individual medals at the World Junior Championships in Szekesfehervar, Hungary, in August, finishing fourth, but followed that up by joining forces with Katy Burke and Freyja Prentice to win team relay gold.

Previous winners of the BOA modern pentathlon Olympic Athlete of the Year awards where Mhairi Spence in 2006, Katy Livingston in 2007, and Heather Fell in 2008 and 2009.

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