Pre-exams boost for Mathematics student Joe Choong as he secures wider-podium place at Modern Pentathlon World Cup
The Pentathlon GB athlete and MJ Church Ambassador starts his final Mathematics exams next week so is not in peak condition but he showed tremendous character and skill to impress across all five disciplines in Sunday’s final.
Choong clocked 2:02.98 for the 200m freestyle and then won 21 of his 35 bouts in the fencing hall before winning the fencing bonus round with four straight victories to move up to third in the overall standings.
A calm and composed ride saw Choong roll just a single pole to collect 293 points and advance to the silver-medal position going into the run-shoot.
The lack of peak fitness was always going to tell in the run but some accurate shooting ensured that Choong crossed the line fifth overall and earned a place on the wider podium for the second time in his World Cup career.
It was a frustrating day for team-mate and fellow Rio 2016 Olympian Jamie Cooke who was the only athlete to go under two minutes in the swimming pool but struggled in the other disciplines and had to settle for 35th overall.
The women’s final on Saturday saw Kate French, in her first international competition since last year’s World Championships, sit inside the top ten for most of the day before being pipped into 11th on the final lap of the run-shoot.
Fellow University of Bath Sports Performance graduate Jo Muir has suffered an illness-disrupted start to the year but demonstrated she is finding her form as a typically strong run-shoot moved her up to 19th overall.
Monday saw junior athletes Charlie Follett and Bradley Sutton, who study Psychology and Sports Performance respectively, put in magnificent displays to narrowly miss out on a medal in a strong mixed relay competition.
They were sitting in third place going into the range for the last time during the run-shoot but lost time and ended up having to settle for eighth place. However, there were still plenty of positives for the young athletes to take for the season ahead.
Sutton, who is supported by a Santander Sports Scholarship, said: “I’m pleased with my improvements in the swim, fence, ride and run and determined to improve on my poor shooting.
“I will take lots of positives from today, especially considering the strong and experienced field we were up against.”
Follett added: “As a team we had a great day today and there are lots of positives to take away. I’m pleased that my mental and skill disciplines are all in a good place at the moment.
“The next few weeks will have lots of revision and exams but after that I look forward to pushing on for the rest of the season.”
Pentathlon GB’s National Performance Centre has been based at the University of Bath for the past 20 years, with many of the athletes taking the opportunity to combine study and sport at the 2018 Sports University of the Year.