altApril 3 - Sam Weale (pictured) today became the first Briton to win a major event under the controversial new format adopted by modern pentathlon when he triumphed at the Bath International.

Weale, who finished 10th for Britain at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, went into the final element of today’s pentathlon - the new combined run/shoot - in second place.

But he overhauled Czech pentathlete Ondrej Polivka on the second of three 1km runs and came into the shooting range for the final time eight seconds ahead of Polivka.

The Czech pentathlete, who won silver at last year’s World Cup Final, reduced the deficit to two seconds in the shooting range.

But Weale produced a strong final 1km run to cross the finish line 20 seconds ahead of Polivka with a pentathlon score of 6044 points.

He said: “I’m delighted to have won.

"It’s the first time I’ve been on the podium since the Millfield World Cup a year ago.

"It’s also a good start to the year for me.

“I had a good start today in the fencing.

"That’s particularly important now it’s the first discipline.

"Then I had a solid swim and ride.”

Weale’s time of 11min 29.95sec for the combined event was the fastest in the field - he missed just one shot in his first of three groups of shooting and two in the final batch.

Team-mate and fellow Beijing Olympian Nick Woodbridge was challenging for a podium finish going into the run/shoot, but dropped down the field from fourth to eighth in the combined event with a time of 12:39.38.

Germany’s Sascha Vetter came third and Hungary's Robert Nemeth, bronze medallist at the 2007 World Championships, finished the day in 13th.