By Mike Rowbottom

Lena Schoneborn_8_MayMay 7 - Germany's Olympic champion Lena Schöneborn produced an outstanding last-ditch flourish on the first day of the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Rome as she overhauled China's 2009 world champion Qian Chen on the final run to earn gold in the team relay.

The Chinese women, who had arrived at the shoot/run stage in seventh place, had lifted themselves to the gold-medal position by the last of the three runs.

However, they eventually had to settle for silver, with the British trio of Katy Burke (pictured below), Kate French and 2008 Beijing Olympian Katy Livingston taking bronze.

The British competitors, all of whom had had to come to terms with confirmation last week that their London 2012 aspirations were over following their failure to earn individual places in the Games, moved steadily up the leaderboard after finishing eighth out of 12 in the opening discipline, fencing.

Katy Burke_8_May
After moving up to fifth after the swimming, the Britons produced the third-best riding performance of the day to go into the run/shoot in fourth place behind leaders Korea, with reigning champions Hungary second and Germany third.

Burke handed over to French in third place after two shoots and runs, and Britain was still third when the latter passed on to Livingston.

Livingston dropped out of the top three in her opening shoot, but produced a strong final run to secure Britain's first medal of the championships.

Germany, represented by Schöneborn (pictured top), Janine Kohlmann and Annika Schleu, won with 5,434 points, 20 ahead of the Chinese trio of Chen, Yihua Miao and Wenjing Zhu, with the British finishing on 5,388.

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