Strong performances from British quartet as Senior Euros & U19 Worlds begin
The 2017 Senior European Championships and 2017 Under 19 World Championships both began today with the Women's relays.
Senior European Championships Round-Up
On the day that it was announced the 2019 European Championships would be held in Great Britain, the 2017 edition of the Championships began in Belarus with the Women’s Relay.
Fotheringhay’s Jess Varley and Bristol’s Charlie Follett were in action for Pentathlon GB, beginning their day in the pool with a time of 2:14.36 for their 200m swim. The British duo, who both train at Pentathlon GB’s National Training Centre at the University of Bath, then moved to the fencing salle where they recorded 16 victories, 11 for 20-year-old Charlie and 5 for 22-year-old Jess. It meant the Brits found themselves in 6th after the opening two disciplines in a strong field that included 2008 Olympic gold medallist Lena Schoneborn, 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Oktawia Nowacka and 2017 World Cup Final winner Tamara Alekszejev.
Both athletes are strong riders with their skill coming to the fore on a tricky and technical course as they picked up 289 points for their showjumping round, moving them up to 4th place in the overall standings. With the gap to the podium standing at over 20 seconds, the Brits main battle in the concluding laser run was for 4th place with Hungary. After a tight battle throughout the 3200m course, the Hungarians eventually edged ahead meaning Jess and Charlie finished their competition in 5th on their Senior European Championships debut. The competition provided great experience for both athletes with Jess set to compete alongside Plymouth’s Myles Pillage in the Mixed Relay on Monday.
Myles will also be in action tomorrow as he competes alongside Basingstoke’s Bradley Sutton in the Men’s Relay tomorrow.
Under 19 Worlds Round-Up
Day 1 of the Under 19 World Championships in Prague also saw the women’s relay taking place with Warwick’s Georgina Mitchell and Bolton Le Sands’ Emma Whitaker in action for Pentathlon GB. Despite both athletes still being in the Under 17 age group, the young British duo held their own throughout the day, putting up a fantastic display to finish 9th at the competitions close.
Plymouth College’s Georgina and City of Lancaster Triathlon’s Emma started their day in the pool with a time of 2:06.54, placing them 8th after the opening discipline in Prague. A tremendous fencing display followed with the two 16-year-olds finding themselves in the upper echelons of the discipline leaderboard throughout. The Brits eventually finished the ranking round with 23 victories, and just 13 defeats before picking up an extra victory over Russia in the bonus round to finish the discipline in 4th.
It meant Georgina and Emma, who finished 11th and 12th respectively at last month’s Under 17 European Championships in Bulgaria were in 4th after the opening two disciplines. With Under 19 competitions following the modern tetrathlon competition format (swim, fence, laser-run), it meant just the combined run and shoot was remaining. With gaps tight throughout the field, the order of the top 10 changed throughout the 3200m course, Emma and Georgina eventually crossing the line 9th to cap a fine display against a field primarily made up of older athletes.
Reflecting on the day, Pentathlon GB’s Pathway Manager Stuart Mason commented, “The performances from Emma and Georgina today were above expectations up to the laser run. They both fought extremely hard all day and there was a standout fence of 13 victories, 5 defeats for Emma.
“We put ourselves in a position to challenge part way through the laser run but today other teams were just slightly stronger, managing to hold their focus on the range and as a result we lost some positions. The final outcome was very tough for the young girls but it was still a good performance and invaluable experience.”
Stuart concluded “Today the jigsaw was almost complete and we took a huge step forward in our progression. Reflection, honesty and correction will put us on the podium.”
Both Emma and Georgina will be back in action on Thursday when they compete in Girls’ individual qualifying alongside Olivia Green and Zoe Davison.
Tomorrow sees the boys’ relay taking place with James Wilton and Toby Price competing for Pentathlon GB.