Student Tom Toolis is top Brit on senior World Cup final debut but Pentathlon GB rue women’s bad luck
Performance Director Jan Bartu said he was in “philosophical” mood after two incident-packed finals for Pentathlon GB’s athletes at World Cup 3 in Rome.
He was pleased to see University of Bath student Tom Toolis finish 17th in his first senior men’s final on Saturday, which made him the top-placed Brit ahead of Nick Woodbridge in 20th, Joe Evans in 26th and Joe Choong in 27th.
But Bartu, pictured, added that a possible problem with the laser scoring system in the combined run/shoot had contributed to Freyja Prentice missing out on a top-ten finish in the women’s final on Friday.
She finished 17th, while Kate French – who was eliminated in the ride after four refusals – was 33rd.
“We were expecting to be a bit more towards the top but I take a philosophical view about these things,” said Bartu.
“The girls had some really bad luck and sometimes that happens. Kate had a dismal ride but she is usually one of the top riders in the competition, so that was unusual to see.
“Freyja was having a good day and was well placed going into the combined event but she timed out on the fourth shoot, which was most likely due to a failure with the laser scoring system, and that ruined her day.
“As for the men, it was very good to see all four of them reach the final but it was an uphill struggle for them after the fencing, we expected better results from that.
“They fought back with some good swimming and riding performances, and for Tom Toolis to finish 17th in his first senior final was a very respectable result – congratulations to him on that.”
The British men got off a slow start in Saturday’s final, with Woodbridge 21st after winning 17 of his fencing bouts, Choong 28th after 15 wins, Toolis 29th after 13 wins and Evans 33rd after 12 wins.
However, Evans was quickest in the pool and one of only two athletes to go under two minutes as he touched the wall in 1:59.27.
Woodbridge produced the third quickest time of 2:00.12 to move up to tenth overall, while Toolis and Choong clocked 2:04.02 and 2:04.98 respectively.
Toolis continued his climb up the rankings with a perfect ride, becoming one of only two athletes to record a maximum 300-point haul.
Choong picked up 293 points, while Woodbridge and Evans both added 286 to their total.
That moved Woodbridge up to ninth going into the combined run/shoot, 40 seconds behind leader Jiahao Han of China and one place ahead of Ukraine’s Pavlo Tymoshchenko who surged through the field to claim an impressive victory.
Robert Kasza was runner-up, while fellow Hungarian Adam Marosi just failed to catch third-placed Pierpaolo Petroni of Italy on the line.
The next World Cup will take place in Kecskemét, Hungary from April 30 to May 4.
The Rome World Cup is the latest major competition in a big year for Pentathlon GB, which includes the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualification period.
A key event on the road to Rio will be the Modern Pentathlon European Championships, taking place at the University of Bath – the home of Pentathlon GB – from August 18-23.
Tickets are now on sale for the event – visit www.pentathlongb.org/euros2015 for more information.