Murray and Cooke crowned as British Champs as Laser-Run City Tour makes successful UK debut

05 June 2017

Olympians Samantha Murray and Jamie Cooke took the titles when the University of Bath played host to the 2017 British Modern Pentathlon Championships on Sunday.

An action-packed day at the Sports Training Village also saw members of the public take part in the first-ever Laser-Run City Tour event to be staged in the UK.

The University is the long-term home to Pentathlon GB’s National Training Centre, so it was against a familiar backdrop that London 2012 silver-medallist and former World Champion Murray (pictured left) produced an excellent display in the women’s senior competition.

A season’s best 200m freestyle time of 2:11.74 in the London 2012 Legacy Pool saw Murray establish an early lead, which she extended with 29 victories and just four defeats in the fencing salle.

Competitors then headed to Hill House Farm near Frome for the ride, where University of Bath Sociology student Georgia Pipes produced the only perfect round. However, Murray was able to maintain her overall advantage ahead of the decisive run-shoot back at the Sports Training Village.

Murray produced a fine performance to comfortably hold onto her lead, crossing the line ahead of fellow Rio 2016 Olympian Kate French. There was more of a battle for the bronze medal, with Jo Muir producing a scintillating run-shoot to move through the field and take the final podium place.

“Being 2017 British Champion is a great honour and I’m really proud of this achievement,” said Murray. “It’s always great to win a title and it’s really fulfilling to do this in front of my friends and family at my home training ground.”

Jamie Cooke on his way to winning the 2017 British Modern Pentathlon Championships men's title at the University of Bath, June 2017
Jamie Cooke on his way to the men’s title at the University of Bath Sports Training Village

In contrast to the women’s competition, the men’s placings were in flux throughout the day. Cooke was quickest in the swim but University of Bath Mathematics student Joe Choong, an ambassador for Team Bath partners MJ Church, set the standard in the fencing salle with 28 victories and six defeats.

Seventeen-year-old George Budden produced the best round in the ride, dropping just two penalty points, while Sport & Exercise Science student Tom Toolis was best of the leading pack to take a six-second lead into the run-shoot.

A fascinating finale saw Toolis, Choong and Cooke locked together for the first three circuits but the latter produced a rapid final shoot and that proved decisive. Toolis and Choong took silver and bronze respectively.

“I’m really pleased to win my first National Pentathlon and especially proud to do it whilst wearing my Dorothy House vest,” said Cooke. 

A host of other medals were handed out during the day to the winners of the Laser-Run City Tour, which saw people from the age of nine upwards compete in the latest addition to the Pentathlon GB portfolio.

There were nine races in total, ranging from U11 Girls & Boys through to a Masters category for people aged 50 and over. It was the first City Tour event to take place in the UK and among those taking part were University of Bath Director of Sport Stephen Baddeley and Tom Church, Director of Team Bath partners MJ Church.

Cooke added: “It was great to see so many younger athletes having a go at the Laser Run which was running throughout the day and then staying to support both the Men and Women at the end of a long day.”

Click here to visit the Pentathlon GB website for a full report on the British Championships.

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