Joe Choong takes the positives after late slip denies Pentathlon GB star World Cup Final victory and first Paris 2024 Olympic quota spot
Torrential rain delayed the men’s final for several hours but Pentathlon GB’s Choong coped with the challenging conditions expertly to sit in second place going into the decisive run-shoot, which was contested after sunset due to the earlier hold-up.
Cars and volunteers’ phones had to be used to illuminate parts of the track and range, while wet ground meant conditions were incredibly slippery underfoot, but Choong ran well to move level with Egypt’s Mohanad Shaban coming out of the final shoot.
The duo were neck and neck in a sprint for the line when, with just metres to go, the wet conditions caused Choong him to lose his footing and crash over the line in second place, missing out on a second World Cup Final title and the opportunity to secure the first Olympic quota spot for Paris 2024.
However, the Olympic and World Champion was determined to take the positives after winning his first medal of 2023, saying: “Last cycle I got the first Olympic qualification spot and then it was then a bit of a weird feeling at the Europeans, so for me not to have it now is almost like a good thing because it keeps me hungry and excited for the next competition.”
Choong’s weekend was affected by the wet conditions again in Sunday’s mixed relay as he suffered a heavy fall in the ride. Both horse and rider were OK but Pentathlon GB decided to withdraw from the remainder of the competition.
Olivia Green, who was partnering Choong in the mixed relay, had finished 10th in the women’s final on Saturday, while team-mate Kerenza Bryson produced some excellent shooting to move up from 11th to sixth.
Both will be in action at the European Games and are aiming to be part of the home team when Pentathlon GB host the 2023 UIPM Modern Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships at the University of Bath from 19-28 August.