Francesca Summers warmed up for this month’s Modern Pentathlon European Championships at the University of Bath in stunning style by being crowned as the World Junior Champion in Mexico City.
The 19-year-old, a Youth Olympic Games silver-medallist in 2014, went into the combined run/shoot in ninth place but produced a storming performance to take the lead at the final shoot.
She then held off a determined challenge from Russia’s Sofia Serkina in the last few metres to cross the line first and take gold, although she had to wait 20 minutes for it to be confirmed following an appeal.
Mathematics student Eilidh Prise, a Bill Whiteley Sports Scholar and Dual Career athlete at the University of Bath, was seventh overall and Sociology student Georgia Pipes was 27th. Those results meant that the Pentathlon GB trio also won silver in the women’s team event.
Summers was overjoyed by her success, saying: “I’m really happy, so happy that I can’t even describe.”
She is next in action at the European Championships, taking place at the Sports Training Village the home of Pentathlon GB from August 18-23.
“I¹m looking forward to it,” said Summers, who will feature in an eight-strong Pentathlon GB squad alongside 2014 senior World Champion Samantha Murray. “As the top eight qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, we will see how that goes.”
Summers was 25th after the opening swim discipline, with Pipes performing well to set the second-fastest time of 2:18.27.
An excellent fencing display, in which she won 24 of her bouts, moved Summers up the rankings and she was ninth overall after scoring 289 points in the show-jumping.
Pipes won 18 of her fencing bouts and picked up just one time penalty in the riding to go into the combined run/shoot in fifth place, while Prise started the last discipline in 13th after 18 fencing wins and a score of 293 points in the show-jumping.
The previous day had seen Tommy Lees finish 29th in the men’s final. He will team with up Sports Performance student Luke Tasker in the men’s relay on Friday.
Tickets are now on sale to see Summers and her Pentathlon GB team-mates take on the continent’s finest at the European Championships.
The competition, which doubles as a Rio 2016 Olympic qualifier, is taking place from August 18-23 at the Sports Training Village and ticket prices start at just £6 for adults and £1 for under-18s.
You can buy tickets or get further information here.
Report courtesy of the Team Bath press office at Matchtight Ltd