Emma Whitaker & Tom Wilton claim gold in Portugal
Emma Whitaker and Tom Wilton both claimed gold to spearhead Pentathlon GB’s Under 17 team to an extremely impressive set of results, including 5 medals, at the Portuguese Under 17 National Championships in Lisbon today. Emma led home Annabel Denton, Kamie Lowe and Georgina Mitchell for a British 1-2-3-4 in the girls’ event whilst Tom was joined on the boys’ podium by George Simpson in 3rd. Josh Hood finished 4th with Alasdair Moir 6th meaning all eight Pentathlon GB athletes finished inside the top 6 positions in the Portuguese capital.
Pentathlon GB were competing as guests of the Portuguese federation but the youngsters made themselves at home with a string of impressive performances throughout the day. In the girls’ competition, Plymouth College’s Georgina Mitchell recorded the quickest time of the day in the pool (2:13.90), over 5 seconds ahead of the next quickest athlete, teammate Kamie Lowe (2:19.29). City of Lancaster Triathlon’s Emma (2:20.09) and Plymouth College’s Annabel (2:27.85) were also well placed after the opening discipline in 3rd and 5th respectively.
In sweltering conditions, the four Brits dominated in the laser-run, recording the four quickest times of the day. It was Bolton Le Sands’ Emma who led the way though with a rapid 10:08.32 seeing her take a comfortable victory. Plymouth's Annabel also excelled to take silver on her international debut with Saint Felix School’s Kamie rounding out the podium in 3rd. Warwickshire’s Georgina continued her fine start to 2017 by finishing 4th meaning the order of the four girls was reversed from the first Under 17 ranking competition of 2017 which took place2 weeks ago.
In the boys’ event, Ashford School’s Tom led the way after the swim with a scintillating 2:03.60, over 9 seconds quicker than anyone else in the field. Whitgift Pentathlon Academy’s George (2:15.50), Rossall Pentathlon Academy’s Alasdair (2:15.63) and Yorkshire Pentathlon’s Josh (2:20.12) were all well placed after the swim, sitting 3rd, 4th and 7th respectively.
Unlike in the girls’ competition, there proved to be a thrilling battle for victory in the boys’ event. Having been closed down by Vasco Coelho, Kent’s Tom remained composed to take victory in a sprint finish on his first international appearance since the 2016 Under 17 European Championships. Behind him, London’s George marked an incredible international debut by taking the bronze medal after a strong laser-run. Hull's Josh’s also gained places during the combined running and shooting phase of the competition to take 4th with Lancashire's Alasdair, another British athlete making his international debut in the event, finishing a well-earned 6th.
Pentathlon GB’s Pathway Manager Stuart Mason was naturally delighted with the performance of the whole team, commenting “It was a great experience for our athletes to compete in this competition, particularly off the back of our first Under 17 ranking competition last month. Six of our eight athletes have not experienced running in heat like this before so it’s a fantastic learning experience for them to see what it’s like competing in competitions outside the UK.”
The team will now enjoy a week-long training camp in Portugal and Stuart added “With the team performing so well today, spirits are high in the camp so we are looking forward to a good week in some top training facilities.”
Our thanks go to the Portuguese Federation for providing our athletes with the opportunity to compete today.