Pentathlon GB in great form 75 days before Europe’s elite arrive in Bath to battle for Euro Champs titles and Tokyo Olympic places
In a week which marks 75 days until the opening of August’s European Modern Pentathlon Championships and Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying event in Bath, GB’s modern pentathletes have already been in positive form this season.
The national squad, which includes World Champion Jamie Cooke and European silver and bronze medallists Kate French and Joe Choong, has won eight international medals since the turn of the year and recorded several top-ten finishes in the World Cup series
Pentathlon GB Performance Director Jan Bartu is clearly optimistic about the results to date and the display of his squad’s strength in depth but he knows that with 16 Olympic qualifying slots (eight for each gender) on offer at the European Championships – dubbed ‘Gladiators Return’ as an expression of Bath’s Roman heritage – that the standards will be incredibly high.
“I am happy with the results achieved by this group of talented modern pentathletes who are a mix of experience and emerging athletes,” he said.
“Bath, the city where we love to live and train, will be a be a fantastic setting for the Europeans and the competition will be fierce and exciting. It will take excellent performances to reach the podium and to claim Tokyo Olympic qualifying places for Team GB.”
World Champion Cooke, whose heroic sprint finish to win his world title was pure sporting drama, hopes that the British fans will turn out in force to cheer on the home athletes.
“Competing on home soil is always an amazing experience,” he said. “British crowds are amongst the best in the World and to have them there backing you the whole way gives you such a lift as an athlete.
“What makes it even more special is having the Europeans in our home training city of Bath. In 2015, it definitely brought us an added advantage so hopefully that will be the case again.”
Gladiators’ Return runs from August 6-11, with all five sporting disciplines of swimming, fencing, horse-riding and the combined laser-shooting and run taking place at the University of Bath’s Sports Training Village.
In the build-up to the Europeans, the Pentathlon GB squad will also be competing in the season’s final World Cup in Prague later this week, followed by the World Cup Finals taking place in the Olympic city of Tokyo from June 27-30.