Individual World Cup debut for scholar Olivia Green as Pentathlon GB athletes make eagerly-awaited return to competition in Hungary
University of Bath sporting scholar Olivia Green will make her first individual appearance at a UIPM World Cup in Hungary next week as Pentathlon GB athletes return to competition for the first time in more than a year.
Sport & Exercise Science student Green (pictured), who is supported by an Alumni Fund Scholarship, has been named in an eight-strong GB squad – all of whom train at the Team Bath Sports Training Village – for the first World Cup of the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic year.
University of Bath alumni Kate French and Jo Muir join her in the women’s team, along with Francesca Summers, while reigning European Champion Jamie Cooke is joined by Bath graduates Joe Choong, Sam Curry and Tom Toolis in the men’s quartet.
French, Choong and Cooke have all achieved the Olympic Qualification Standard for Tokyo, while Muir and Summers – ranked first and 17th respectively on the UIPM Olympic Ranking List – will be hoping to gain crucial points towards securing a seat on the plane for this summer’s Games.
All of the selected athletes have been back in training at Team Bath – home to Pentathlon GB’s National Training Centre – since June under the Government’s Elite Sport Protocol but the World Cup in Hungary will be their first competition experience since February 2020.
“I’ve really missed the pre-competition buzz of nerves and I’m eager to get back to competing after such a long training block,” said Green. “I’m feeling really positive about the 2021 season, in particular the upcoming World Cup in Budapest.”
Rio 2016 Olympian French, who won World and European medals in 2019, added: “Whilst it can be hard to stay focused when events are being cancelled, having such a long period of uninterrupted training should hopefully pay off.
“I am excited to get back competing and looking forward to the chance to expose myself to the challenges of competition and how to manage myself throughout the day.”
Cooke said: “This has been the longest ever period of training and while it’s been a challenge to stay motivated, it’s also been a great opportunity to work on certain areas and I’m excited to see what happens in competition.
“I think for the first World Cup it’s about just getting back out there and immersing yourself in that competition vibe again, which is impossible to replicate in training. Once that’s happened, we can start looking forward to the next comps as the season progresses.”
Sport & Exercise Science graduate Toolis used the break in competition to fully rehab from injury and said: “The pandemic has given me the chance to regain my fitness, and I am in a really good place at the moment with training, so am I looking forward to showing the rest of the competition what I have to offer.
“I know the atmosphere won’t exactly be the same as usual but just being around the other competitors and friends, as well as showing off my current ability at an international event, is exciting.”
The first World Cup of the season gets under way on Wednesday, March 24th with women’s qualification. The men begin their competition the following day, with the finals taking place on Friday and Saturday before the week concludes with the mixed relay on Sunday, March 28th.
Pentathlon GB athletes train for their fencing, swimming, running and shooting disciplines at the Team Bath Sports Training Village, where they also access the High-Performance Gym. Many also take the opportunity to combine training on campus with studying at the University of Bath. Click here to find out more.