Students and graduates named among 12-strong GB home team for UIPM Modern Pentathlon World Champs at University of Bath

19 July 2023

Pentathlon GB have today announced a 12-strong ‘home’ team for the UIPM Modern Pentathlon World Championships 2023, taking place at their Bath National Training Centre next month.

Reigning World and Olympic Champion Joe Choong will be bidding to defend his crown when the Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualifying event takes place at the University of Bath from 19-28 August – click here to purchase tickets.

He will be joined in the men’s squad by Myles Pillage and Sport Management & Coaching student Charlie Brown, who won team gold with Choong for Team GB at the recent European Games, as well as Sports Performance student Ross Charlton who placed fifth at last month’s European Junior Championships.

In the women’s squad are University of Bath alumnae OIivia Green and Jess Varley, who helped GB win team gold at last year’s World Championships in Alexandria, Egypt. Kerenza Bryson, a World Cup winner earlier this season, and Santander Sporting Scholar Emma Whitaker – named as the world’s Best Junior Female Pentathlete of 2022 by pentathlon governing body UIPM – complete a strong individual line-up.

Jess Varley and Joe Choong won mixed relay silver at the 2022 Modern Pentathlon World Championships

Pentathlon GB will also contest the relay events, with both the men’s and women’s titles being decided during an action-packed Family Day on Tuesday 22nd August, when all tickets are priced just £5.

Accounting & Finance student Guy Anderson and Sam Curry will line up in the men’s event, while Bath students Alex Bousfield and Gina Speakman – a former laser-run competitor who will be making her senior pentathlon debut – will represent the hosts in the women’s. They study Politics & International Relations and Sports Performance respectively. A GB partnership will also contest the mixed relay, which conclude the championships on Monday 28th August.

Pentathlon GB’s Kerenza Bryson (centre) won women’s individual gold at the Modern Pentathlon World Cup in Sofia, Bulgaria in May 2023. MUST CREDIT: UIPM / Aistė Ridikaitė

This will be a third international event on home soil for Choong after the University of Bath successfully hosted the European Championships in 2015 and 2019.

I achieved the Olympic qualifying standard for Rio in 2015 and won men’s team gold in 2019, so I have very fond memories of competing here in front of a home crowd,” said Choong, who has won silver medals at the World Cup Final and European Games so far this season.

“It is always an honour to represent your country but to be going into a home World Championships as the defending champion is a particularly special moment. We are taking on the very best in the world and the standard of competition is going to be intense, especially with the Paris Olympics just a year away, but the support from the home fans will give us an extra boost.”

Jon Pett, Pentathlon GB Performance Director, added: “To host a World Championships is always special, and even more so as we approach the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with the aim of retaining both gold medals from Tokyo.

“We have selected a strong squad who have all shown strong development and achieved their own successes in 2023, and a team that will be looking to push for both podium places and Olympic qualification to add to the two quota slots achieved at the European Games.

“With entries across the full event programme we hope to give everyone something to celebrate and I’m excited to see what our team can deliver in front of their families and hopefully a large partisan crowd!”

This year’s Modern Pentathlon World Championships are the first to be staged in Britain since 2009 and will be contested in the new 90-minute format. Spectators will be able to watch the fencing, horse-riding and laser run live from their seats in an outdoor arena at the Team Bath Sports Training Village, while the swimming section – taking place in the University’s Olympic-sized pool – will be broadcast via a large video screen in the stadium.

Interactive ‘have a go’ sessions will run alongside the competitive events to give spectators the chance to discover the five pentathlon disciplines for themselves.

The pentathlon competition will be preceded from 19-21 August by the UIPM Laser Run World Championships, taking place in Britain for the first time. They combine running and shooting in fast-paced races and will include a Para Laser Run category.

Daily tickets are priced from just £5, with entry to Pentathlon Finals Day on Sunday 27th August – when both the men’s and women’s champions will be crowned – priced from £15 for adults and £5 concessions. All tickets in the accessible stand are £5 throughout the event. Click here for further details and to buy tickets.

Selected athletes (including hometown)

Men’s team

Charlie Brown | Kidderminster, Worcestershire.
Ross Charlton | Morpeth, Northumberland.
Joe Choong | Orpington, Kent.
Myles Pillage | Plymouth, Devon.
Guy Anderson (relay) | Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire.
Sam Curry (relay) | Salfords, Surrey.

Women’s team

Kerenza Bryson | Plymouth, Devon.
Olivia Green | Oldham, Lancashire.
Jess Varley | Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire.
Emma Whitaker | Lancaster, Lancashire.
Alex Bousfield (relay) | Tring, Hertfordshire.
Gina Speakman (relay) | Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Pictured top: (From left) Myles Pillage, Jess Varley, Charlie Brown, Emma Whitaker, Sam Curry, Gina Speakman, Joe Choong, Olivia Green, Guy Anderson, Kerenza Bryson, Ross Charlton and Alex Bousfield.

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