Arthur’s participation in London 2012 was not confirmed by the UIPM until three weeks before the event. A qualified athlete was withdrawn having tested positive for a banned substance and Arthur was next in line for one of the 36 modern pentathlon places available in Olympic competition.
In the early stages of the fencing Arthur was placed in the top ten with nine victories in his first fourteen bouts, and he looked well placed to repeat his recent World Cup form, which had yielded him fencing points scores of 860, finishing with a 904 in the World Cup Finals in China. However he was unable to maintain his early momentum, and finished the fencing with fourteen victories for 736 points and in 29th place going into the swimming.
The swimming event produced fast times, a new Olympic record, and many PBs. Arthur, competing in the fourth of five heats, swam a very mature race, resisting the temptation to chase the early “fliers” and picking them off one by one in the last 75 metres to finish second in the heat with a time of 2 minutes 2.44 seconds which was just short of his PB. This gave him 9th position in the swim and boosted his overall placing to 21st.
Arthur produced a competent solid ride in the show jumping and was unfortunate to have two fences down. However he incurred costly time faults by taking a longer route into the start, which was possibly to settle the horse following a suggestion of a nap in the salute box, and further prompted by memories of the disaster he suffered in the World Cup final in China. He picked up 1120 points for the ride and was standing in 18th place going into the combined event.
Arthur’s time start in the combined was 1 minute, 8 seconds behind the event leader. Although his shooting proved below his World Cup par, with shoot times recorded as 18, 21 and 23 seconds, his respectable combined run/shoot time of 11.08;69 saw him cross the finish line in 25th position at the end of the event.
The target set for Arthur was a “top 25”. Given his age at just 20 years, his experience, and the late call into the Olympics which required a rapid adjustment of his training schedules, Arthur should be well pleased that he achieved this target. .