Kate French and Sam Curry secure second ranking comp victories
Kate French and Sam Curry both enjoyed success in Bath today as they secured victories at the second Pentathlon GB National Ranking Competition of the year, following up their victories at the first Ranking Competition last month.
In the women’s event, Kate finished 45 points clear of Jess Varley with Jo Muir just a point further back in 3rd. Meanwhile in the Men’s event, Sam closed the competition with a perfect round in the ride to enjoy an 18 point victory over Jamie Cooke with Tom Toolis 2 points behind to round out the top 3.
The competition, which was held at the University of Bath - Pentathlon GB’s National Training Centre – and West Wilts Equestrian Centre started in the pool with the 200m swim. Double Olympian Samantha Murray recorded the quickest time of the women’s event in 2:13.56, 2.37 seconds ahead of Sarah Collin with Joanna Muir 3rd quickest in 2:15.96.
In the fencing salle, it was Kate French who excelled, picking up 23 victories and just 7 defeats to top the discipline standings. Plymouth Studio School’s Kerenza Bryson secured 22 victories to finish the discipline second with 2015 Junior World Championships Team silver medallist Georgia Pipes recording 1 victory less to finish 3rd. It meant that Kate headed the field after two disciplines, starting the combined laser-run with a 10 second lead over Samantha and 20 second advantage over both Georgia and Kerenza.
Gravesend’s Kate maintained her lead throughout the 3200m course but an exciting laser-run saw the positions behind her changing throughout. Jess Varley, who will make her World Cup debut in Los Angeles later this month, recorded the quickest time of the day to move into second position overall whilst Jo Muir moved up to 3rd with her time of 13:12.65.
The ride at West Wilts Equestrian Centre saw limited changes to the overall standings with the top 8 athletes maintaining their positions as the top GB female pentathletes safely navigated their way around the show-jumping course. It meant Kate held on to take victory ahead of Jess, Jo, Samantha, Francesca Summers, Kerenza, Georgia and Georgina Summers. Two more National Training Centre based athletes rounded out the top 10 with Holly Parker finishing 9th ahead of Charlie Follett.
In the men’s event, Myles Pillage produced a sublime sub 2-minute swim to take the lead after the opening discipline ahead of Jamie Cooke and Bradley Sutton. In the fencing salle it was Sam Curry who excelled as he topped the discipline standings with 19 victories and 8 defeats. Tom Toolis secured 17 victories to finish the discipline in 2nd, with Cambridge University’s Paul Hodgson recording 1 victory less to finished 3rd. Plymouth College’s Ed Clark unfortunately had to withdraw during the fence due to injury and everyone at Pentathlon GB wishes him a speedy recovery.
The results meant another fascinating laser-run developed with the top 7 of Sam, Tom, Myles, Bradley, Paul, Jamie and Joe Choong separated by just 37 seconds at the start. As in the preceding Women’s heat, Sam, who is currently studying at King’s College in London, maintained the lead throughout but the other positions continually changed during the 3200m course. Eventually it was Jamie who crossed the line second thanks to the quickest laser-run time of the day. He was followed by Tom, Myles, Joe, Bradley and Paul, setting the order ahead of the ride, the final discipline of the day.
With just 13 points separating the top 3, everything was still in the balance ahead of the ride at West Wilts Equestrian Centre. Both Jamie and Tom knocked down a single pole meaning Sam needed a solid round to secure victory. The 23 year-old didn’t disappoint, finishing the day in style with a wonderful clear round to pick up the maximum 300 points and claim his second victory from this year’s ranking competitions.
Behind the top 3, Bath based duo Myles and Joe finished 4th and 5th respectively with Cambridge University’s Paul Hodgson 6th, ahead of Josh Miller and Cambridge teammate Henry Choong. Bradley Sutton and Okan Onay finished 9th and 10th after both being eliminated from the ride and scoring 0 points as a result.