By Mike Rowbottom

Jamie_Cooke_pentathlonMay 31 - Jamie Cooke, Britain's 20-year-old modern pentathlete, has moved a step nearer to competing at the London 2012 Games by qualifying to compete at his first World Cup final.

The young Briton sealed his place at the competition - which will take place in London in July - by finishing 18th in the last round of the 2011 World Cup series in Chengdu, China, at the weekend.

That performance helped Cooke, originally from Cheltenham but now training at the Pentathlon GB High Performance Centre at the University of Bath, finish the highest placed Briton in the men's World Cup standings in 13th.

Beijing 2008 Olympian Nick Woodbridge also qualified for the World Cup final by finishing 24th in the 2011 World Cup standings.

It means Great Britain will have a five-strong team competing at the World Cup Final on July 9 and 10 with Cooke and Woodbridge joining the GB women's trio of Heather Fell, Freyja Prentice and Mhairi Spence.

The winner of both the men's and women's competitions at the World Cup Final achieve a quota qualification place for London 2012.

The top-eight in the men's and women's competitions at the European Championships at Medway in Kent from July 28 to August 1 also achieve qualification places for 2012.

A maximum of two athletes per gender per country can compete in the modern pentathlon at London 2012.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]