Myles Pillage and Kerenza Bryson provide Pentathlon GB with golden start to home European Championships in Bath
There was a dream start to the 2019 Modern Pentathlon European Championships for the host nation as Myles Pillage and Kerenza Bryson won mixed relay gold on the opening day of competition at the University of Bath Sports Training Village.
The young Pentathlon GB duo provided a vocal home crowd with plenty to cheer throughout the day as they won the swimming, fencing and riding disciplines to take a 40-second advantage into the decisive run-shoot.
That lead never looked in danger of being eroded as mature performances saw Bryson and Pillage – a University of Bath student, supported by a Trendell Sports Scholarship – finish well clear of Czech Republic duo Eliska Pribylova and David Kindl, who moved up from fourth to secure silver.
Italy’s Irene Prampolini and Valerio Grasselli completed the podium on a day when the other medal places changed hands on numerous occasions.
Pillage said: “It feels awesome. This is the first international gold medal I have won, so to do it with Kerenza is really cool. It was a really good day for us.
“It was about holding it together in the run-shoot and maintaining that big lead as neither of us had been in that situation before. Thank you to everyone whose support helped us do that.”
Bryson added: “It was great to have the home crowd behind us, you could really feel the support, although trying to shoot while people are cheering you was quite tough!
“I’d just like to also say thanks to the National Lottery for supporting us and to my friends and family.”
Silver-medallist Pribylova, whose fine shooting lifted her team into second spot, said: “We are really satisfied with that result. The whole day was full of surprises and this was the best result we could have hoped for – we would never have said we would be second at the beginning of the day because our fencing wasn’t the best.
“It’s really amazing to be here with the crowd and everything, it’s a really nice venue.”
Prampolini was pleased to win bronze, saying: “The horse riding and the final part of the fencing were the best parts of the day for us. We didn’t start very well in the fencing but Valerio and I got stronger after that and that gave us the power to go on.”
Pillage will be back in action on Wednesday when he partners fellow University of Bath student Oliver Murray in the men’s relay, while Santander Sports Scholar Charlie Follett and Zoe Davison represent GB in the women’s relay.
The National Lottery-backed 2019 Modern Pentathlon European Championships – dubbed Gladiators Return – are taking place from August 6-11 at the University of Bath Sports Training Village, home of the Pentathlon GB National Training Centre. More than 150 athletes from 25 countries are competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying event, with all five disciplines – swimming, fencing, riding and the combined run/shoot – taking place in one venue. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.