Source: Clare Green for Matchtight

Senior Modern Pentathlon European Championships

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Cooke and Choong narrowly miss out on relay medal at Senior Modern Pentathlon European Championships

Jamie Cooke and Joe Choong finished 4th in the Men’s Relay at the Senior European Championships in Sofia today, agonisingly missing out on a podium position by a single second in their final appearance before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It came after Jo Muir and Georgia Pipes, both making their Senior European Championships debut, had finished 7th in the Women’s relay on the opening day of the Championships yesterday (Monday 4th July).

Team GB 2016 Olympians Cooke and Choong started in the pool where they clocked a scintillating 200m time of 1:47.94, nearly 3.5 seconds quicker than any other team. The duo then finished level in their fencing with 24 victories and 24 defeats, 14 of those victories coming courtesy of 21 year old Choong. This left the Brits in 2nd at the end of the morning, 7 seconds behind leaders Russia.

As can often be the case in modern pentathlon, the ride proved critical with 5 knockdowns and 7 time penalties meaning the two Brits picked up 258 points, slipping to 6th in the overall standings ahead of the combined event and leaving them with a battle to make the podium.

The closing run-shoot discipline proved to be an exhilarating affair with a thrilling battle for the silver medal behind the Russian duo Aleksander Lesun and Alexander Savkin. The Czech Republic eventually held on to their starting position of 2nd, finishing one second ahead of 3rd place Poland, with the Pentathlon GB duo a further second behind in 4th.

In yesterday’s Women’s Relay, Muir and Pipes began their competition with a 2:08.29 swim, the 6th quickest of the day. This was followed by 19 victories in their fencing ranking round – 13 for Dumfries’ Muir and 6 for Easingwold’s Pipes – leaving the young British duo in 8th position after the opening two disciplines.

With many teams struggling in their rides, 279 points – including a clear round from Pipes – lifted the British duo to 6th ahead of the combined event. A time of 13:12.29 in their run-shoot meant the Senior European Championships debutants crossed the line in 7th.

Both women will be back in action later in the week with Pipes competing in the Mixed Relay alongside James Myatt tomorrow (Wednesday 6th July) and Muir taking part in the Women’s Individual event with qualifying on Thursday (7th July).

Pentathlon GB have sent a very strong team to this week’s Senior European Championships in Sofia, including all four Team GB 2016 Olympians – Samantha Murray, Kate French, Jamie Cooke and Joe Choong. The quartet will be looking to finalise their Rio de Janeiro preparations and will form part of a 10 strong team heading to the Bulgarian capital.

Murray and French will take part in the Women’s individual competition where they will be joined by 21 year old Joanna Muir. Muir, who claimed silver alongside Murray in the Women’s Relay at the World Championships in May, will once again start her competition in the team event, this time alongside Junior athlete Georgia Pipes.

Meanwhile, Cooke and Choong will compete alongside each other in the Men’s Relay in Sofia. Sam Curry and Tom Toolis, who both competed at the World Championships in Moscow, will once again take part in the Men’s individual competition. They will be joined by Luke Tasker and James Myatt who will both be making their second international appearances of the year.

Kent born Myatt will also compete in the Mixed Relay alongside Yorkshire’s Pipes.

Full team:

Women’s team:

  • Samantha Murray, 26, from Clitheroe, Lancashire
  • Kate French, 25, from  Gravesend, Kent
  • Joanna Muir, 21, from Dumfries, Dumfriesshire
  • Georgia Pipes, 20, from Easingwold, Yorkshire

Men’s team:

  • Sam Curry, 22, from Salfords, Surrey
  • Tom Toolis, 23, from Hornchurch, Essex
  • Luke Tasker, 22, from Clitheroe, Lancashire
  • James Myatt, 25, from Maidstone, Kent
  • Jamie Cooke, 25, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
  • Joe Choong, 21, from Orpington, London

Full competition schedule:

Monday 4th July – Women’s Relay

Tuesday 5th July – Men’s Relay

Wednesday 6th July – Mixed Relay

Thursday 7th July – Women’s Individual Qualification

Friday 8th July – Men’s Individual Qualification & Women’s Final Fencing

Saturday 9th July – Women’s Final & Men’s Final Fencing

Sunday 10th July – Men’s Final

Report courtesy of Pentathlon GB