Pentathlon GB, whose National Training Centre has been based at the University since 1998, has been awarded the event by the European Confederation of Modern Pentathlon (ECMP) following a competitive bidding process.
It will be the second time in four years that the European Championships have been staged at the £30million Sports Training Village following a hugely-successful six-day competition in 2015, which also doubled as an Olympic qualifier.
Both Joe Choong – a MJ Church ambassador – and Kate French secured the Rio 2016 qualification standard with top-eight finishes that week, while three Rio Olympic medalists – Aleksander Lesun, Elodie Clouvel and Oktawia Nowacka – were also among those competing. The 2019 championships promise to have a similar standard of field, providing a fantastic opportunity to see many of the world’s top modern pentathletes in action.
Support from UK Sport and The National Lottery has made hosting the event possible and Simon Morton, Chief Operating Officer at UK Sport, said: “UK Sport is delighted that the UK has secured the European Modern Pentathlon Championships 2019, which will help to raise the profile of the sport nationally and internationally, and support British athletes in the critical period leading into the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.”
The University of Bath has a proud tradition of hosting major sporting events, with the 2015 European Championships receiving high praise from competitors from 22 nations.
Director of Sport Stephen Baddeley said: “We are delighted that the Modern Pentathlon European Championships will be returning to the University of Bath in 2019.
“Our world-class facilities are ideally suited to hosting multi-sport events and we remember how those taking part in 2015 enjoyed the fact they could compete in all of the modern pentathlon disciplines – swimming, fencing, horse riding, running and shooting – at the same venue, as well as stay and eat on campus.
“We look forward to welcoming the best all-round athletes in the world back to both the Sports Training Village and the beautiful city of Bath.”
The news comes ahead of the 2017 European Championships which got underway in Minsk, Belarus, today (Tuesday). Pentathlon GB are sending a 12-strong team to Bulgaria with Olympians French, Choong, Samantha Murray and Jamie Cooke all set to compete in the individual competitions.
In the women’s event, French and Murray will be joined by Jo Muir, who finished fifth at last year’s European Championships, and 2015 Junior World Champion Francesca Summers. The men’s line-up will be completed by Tom Toolis and Sam Curry, who enjoyed their career highlight so far at the 2014 Championships when they teamed up to claim bronze in the men’s relay.
Pentathlon GB athletes will compete in all 3 relays in the Belarusian capital with Jess Varley taking part in both the women’s and mixed events, partnering Charlie Follett and Myles Pillage respectively. Pillage will also double up as he joins Bradley Sutton in the men’s relay team.
Pentathlon GB and the University of Bath have forged a strong and enduring partnership since the national governing body’s move to the Sports Training Village two decades ago. Unparalleled success has followed since, with Pentathlon GB athletes wining numerous medals at Olympics, World Championships, European Championships and World Cups. Many athletes have combined training with study at the University of Bath, including Olympians Murray, French and Choong.
The 2015 Championships proved extremely popular, with local residents and businesses getting involved and supporting our athletes. It is hoped that the 2019 event will be even bigger as Great Britain continues to show its prowess on the international stage.