Warwickshire’s Georgina Mitchell and Gloucestershire’s Zoe Davison both qualified for the girls’ Under 19 World Championships final in Prague today but British teammates Olivia Green and Emma Whitaker missed out on a place in the final 36.
A bumper entry list of over 85 athletes meant qualifying was split into three groups and securing a place in the final 36 was always going to be a tough challenge.
16-year-old Mitchell who was competing at her first Under 19 World Championships, was placed in qualifying Group B. It meant the Pentathlon GB Talent Programme athlete started her day in the pool where she recorded a time of 2:16.66 for the 200m swim, fourth fastest in the Group.
Mitchell, who currently studies and trains at Plymouth College – one of Pentathlon GB’s eight academies – then moved to the fencing hall. A sublime display on the piste saw the British youngster secure 21 victories and just 7 defeats, moving her up to second in the group standings ahead of the concluding laser run. With three qualifying groups in action, it meant just the top 10 in each would automatically qualify for Saturday’s final but strong running ensured Mitchell, who claimed victory in the Under 19 British Modern Pentathlon Championships last month, crossed the line 8th in the group to book her place in the final 36.
Meanwhile, Stroud’s Davison and Saddleworth’s Green were placed in Group C, also beginning their day in the pool. A strong start for the British pair saw Wycliffe College’s Davison recording a time of 2:13.29 with Olivia setting a personal best of 2:15.78 to leave both athletes inside the top 10 after the opening discipline.
The outcome of the day for the British athletes appeared to be dictated by the fencing hall with 18-year-old Davison performing strongly throughout the discipline, eventually finishing on 18 victories and 9 defeats to lie 4th in the overall group standings. 17-year-old Green, who is currently ranked first on the Pentathlon GB Under 19 ranking list, endured a tougher time in the second discipline, picking up 9 victories and 18 defeats to slip to 20th in the group.
A heavy rainstorm meant the Group C laser run was delayed, but the weather could do nothing to dampen Davison’s spirits as she comfortably qualified for the girls’ final by finishing 5th in the group and continue a fine season that has seen her finish on the podium at the British Under 19 Modern Tetrathlon Championships, British Under 19 Modern Pentathlon Championships and GB Youth International.
Starting 20th, it was always going to be a tough ask for Green to climb into the top 10 with the Oldham Aquatics swimmer crossing the line in the 20th position she began the final discipline. Despite a tough day today, 2017 has still been a fine year for Green with victories at all three Pentathlon GB Under 19 Ranking competitions, the GB Youth International and British Under 19 Modern Tetrathlon Championships.
In Group A, Bolton Le Sands’ Whitaker started her day in the fencing hall with 9 victories and 19 defeats from her 28 bouts, leaving the 16-year-old in 26th position after the opening discipline. Whitaker, who also competed in the girls’ relay alongside Georgina Mitchell on Tuesday, challenging for a podium before eventually finishing 9th, then moved to the pool for her 200m swim. A time of 2:20.58, 10th quickest in the group moved Whitaker, who trains at City of Lancaster Triathlon Club, up to 24th ahead of the closing laser run.
Another good performance in the final discipline saw Whitaker pick up seven more places to finish 17th in the Group A standings. Although not quite enough to qualify for the final, the competition provided fantastic experience for Whitaker who is still an Under 17 aged athlete.
Today sees boys’ qualifying taking place with George Budden, George Case, Toby Price and James Wilton competing for Pentathlon GB before Zoe and Georgina return for the girls’ final on Saturday in Prague.
Report courtesy of Pentathlon GB