Students Emma Whitaker and Ross Charlton win medals on World Cup debuts as Pentathlon GB make strong start to 2022 campaign

27 March 2022

Sports Performance students Emma Whitaker and Ross Charlton both won medals on their UIPM Modern Pentathlon World Cup debuts as University of Bath-based Pentathlon GB enjoyed a strong start to the Paris 2024 Olympic cycle.

Whitaker, who is supported by a Santander Sporting Scholarship, enjoyed a dream week in Cairo, Egypt as she progressed through the qualifying round and semi-finals to reach a World Cup women’s individual final at her first attempt.

The 20-year-old then produced another fantastic display to win the bronze medal, surging from ninth to third in the decisive laser-run discipline with the athletes she overtook including Rio 2016 Olympic silver-medallist Elodie Clouvel.

Whitaker said: “I can’t believe it really, it doesn’t seem true! This week has been amazing and today has just gone perfect. I just gave it everything, tried my hardest and it paid off.

“It was a dream just to get selected for this World Cup, we have such a good team of girls back home that even getting selected is mega. It’s so exciting for the rest of the season. Hopefully I’ll get selected for a few more competitions now and then see what I can do.”

All four British women had qualified for the final with Kerenza Bryson also recording a top-ten finish in eighth. Varley was 13th and Sport & Exercise Science student Olivia Green – supported by an Alumni Fund scholarship – placed 17th in her first individual World Cup final. Click here to read a full report on the Pentathlon GB website.

Sunday’s mixed relay competition again saw the Brits excel in the laser-run as Varley and Charlton moved up from sixth at the start of the final discipline to finish runners-up to home duo Mohanad Shaban and Salma Abdelmaksoud. Turkey’s Bugra Unal and Ilke Ozyuksel completed the podium.

The result ensured that Natural Sciences graduate Varley maintained her record of winning either gold or silver in every competition she has contested this season, while it was a first senior international medal for Team Bath Dual Career student-athlete Charlton on his World Cup debut. Click here to read a full report on the Pentathlon GB website.

Varley told UIPM TV: “I’m just so excited that we were able to put it all together because we knew we had a really good shot going into the laser-run. It was good fun.”

Charlton added: “I’m over the moon. This is my first World Cup so I’m really happy I was given the opportunity to compete in the mixed relay. We had some ups and downs on the day but we kept it together and finished with a great laser-run.”

He was one of three University of Bath students to make their World Cup debuts in Cairo, with Guy Anderson and Bill Whiteley Sporting Scholar Toby Price also gaining invaluable senior competition experience. Henry Choong, brother of Olympic Champion Joe, also contested his first World Cup and reached the men’s semi-finals.

A host of student-athletes take the opportunity to combine study and training at the University of Bath, which is home to Pentathlon GB’s world-leading National Performance Centre. Click here to find out more.

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