Superb silver for Joe Choong as Olympic Champion makes impressive return to modern pentathlon competition at Albena World Cup

15 May 2022

University of Bath-based Olympic Champion Joe Choong made an impressive return to international competition for the first time since winning gold at Tokyo 2020 as he claimed a dramatic silver at the UIPM Modern Pentathlon World Cup in Albena, Bulgaria.

Choong, part of the Pentathlon GB high-performance squad at the Team Bath Sports Training Village, took a break after the Olympics but looked in good form all week as he eased through the qualifying and semi-final rounds.

South Korea’s Woongtae Jun, bronze-medallist to Choong in Tokyo last summer, was in outstanding form and broke the fencing record – notching 31 victories from 35 bouts – on his way to a world-record points total and the overall title.

Behind him was an intriguing battle for second with Choong overtaking Egypt’s Mohanad Shaban during the laser-run but slipping with just 200m to go. However, he was able to pick himself up and pass his rival again to take silver by just a second.

“I tried to control the race all the way round once I caught up to Shaban but I managed to lose three seconds on a shoot, which made it more difficult,” said Choong, a University of Bath Mathematics graduate. “I slipped over at the last U-turn but luckily I had enough left.

“I know I’m not at peak fitness right now, I took a lot of time off after Tokyo, so I wanted to control it and make the shooting as easy as possible because that’s the first thing that goes.”

There were more impressive British performances in the women’s final as University of Bath Alumni Fund Sporting Scholar Olivia Green, Kerenza Bryson and Charlie Follett, who were sixth, seventh and ninth respectively, all recorded their best-ever individual World Cup finishes, while Natural Sciences graduate Jess Varley was just two seconds outside the top 10 after a rapid laser-run.

Sunday’s mixed relay saw Sports Performance graduate Jo Muir make her first competitive appearance since the Tokyo Olympics as she partnered Henry Choong to fifth place overall.

Many modern pentathletes combine study and training at the University of Bath – click here to find out more.

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