Jess Varley and Myles Pillage finish 4th in World Cup 1 Mixed Relay
Jess Varley and Myles Pillage produced a fantastic performance to finish 4th in the Mixed Relay at World Cup 1 overnight. The two World Cup debutants belied their inexperience in Los Angeles as they brought a positive end to a successful World Cup for Pentathlon GB athletes.
The day started in the pool where Plymouth’s Myles and Fotheringhay’s Jess got their competition off to a fantastic start with a rapid time of 1:59.60, one of just two teams to dip under the 2 minute barrier. Fencing is currently the weakest discipline of both World Cup debutants but both battled valiantly throughout the ranking round, eventually finishing with 17 victories and 25 defeats to their name. A further victory followed over Hungary in the bonus round meaning the British duo sat in 5th place after the opening two disciplines at the Fairplex complex.
An unfortunate dismount for Jess – one of the best riders on the international circuit – saw the young British duo picked up 17 obstacle faults and 42 time faults to finish on 241 points in the riding discipline. It meant 18 year-old Myles and 21 year-old Jess, who are both currently training at Pentathlon GB’s National Training Centre at the University of Bath, started the laser-run in 7th place.
A thrilling final discipline followed with the British pair closing down and overtaking the three teams ahead of them. However, despite the second quickest laser-run of the day, they left themselves with slightly too much to do to reach the podium, eventually finish 14 seconds off the bronze medal. It was still a fantastic performance by Jess and Myles though, two athletes who were making their World Cup debuts at the event.
The Mixed Relay rounded off the first World Cup of the 2017 season in Los Angeles. It proved to be an extremely successful event for Pentathlon GB athletes, headlined by Kate French claiming the second World Cup medal of her career in the Women’s competition following an outstanding display. Jess (18th), Sam Murray (22nd) and Francesca Summers (36th) all made the Women’s final whilst 3 Pentathlon GB athletes qualified for the Men’s final. Jamie Cooke (9th) recorded another World Cup top 10 whilst Sam Curry (16th) and Tom Toolis (28th) both enjoyed successful competitions.
The next World Cup takes place in Cairo from 22nd-26th March.
Pentathlon GB Performance Director Jan Bartu was pleased with the fight and spirit shown by the pair as they bounced back from the setback in the ride with a very strong finish in the laser run. Jan explained “Jess was a bit unfortunate in the ride, she was just caught off guard on 1 corner as her horse turned back in. However, these things happen and it’s all experience and part of the learning curve.
“To be close to the medals was a very good performance for Jess and Myles and if one-or-two things had gone their way they might have been on the podium today.”
Commenting on the World Cup as a whole, Jan remarked “Today was a good closure to the competition for the British team following a strong performance overall. We can now head back in positive spirits with lots to look forward to and encouragement for the season ahead.”