Pentathlon GB have named an unchanged team for the individual competitions at next month’s Senior World Championships in Cairo. It means that 2016 Rio Olympians Kate French and Samantha Murray will spearhead a Women’s team that also includes Dumfries’ Jo Muir and Dorking’s Francesca Summers.
The Men’s team will also be led to by Rio two athletes in Joe Choong and Jamie Cooke with Romford’s Tom Toolis and Salfords’ Sam Curry completing the Pentathlon GB individual line-up.
Plymouth’s Myles Pillage and Basingstoke’s Bradley Sutton, both still in their first year as Junior athletes, will complete the Pentathlon GB team in the Egyptian capital as they compete in the Men’s Relay, continuing their development on the international stage.
Gravesend’s French will head into the Championships in fine form and a career-high 2nd in the World Rankings. The 26-year-old topped the Women’s World Cup standings this season after finishing 1st, 2nd and 6th in her three events before finishing 7th at last week’s European Championships in Minsk to continue her fine run of form since the Olympics.
Meanwhile, double Olympian and London 2012 silver medallist Murray has been improving with each event so far this season, challenging for a top 8 position before ultimately finishing 14th in Belarus last week. The 28-year-old has fond memories of the toughest event on the modern pentathlon calendar with three top 5 places in the past 5 years, including World Championship victory in 2014 and a bronze medal in 2012.
22-year-old Muir and 21-year-old Summers have produced strong seasons to date with both athletes recording their maiden World Cup top 10 finishes. Muir achieved the feat at World Cup 4 in Poland with victory at the British Modern Tetrathlon Championships and bronze at the British Modern Pentathlon Championships either side of that major international milestone. Summers secured her top 10 at World Cup 3 in Hungary before an unfortunate fall in the ride scuppered her chances of an even higher placed finish at the next World Cup.
In the Men’s team, Orpington’s Joe Choong will head into the event high on confidence after a remarkable 13th place finish at the European Championships despite suffering with food poisoning. The 22-year-old battled gamely on his return to major international action and will return to an event that kick-started his senior career when he finished 16th at his debut World Championships in Warsaw three years ago.
Fellow Rio Olympian Cooke will head into the event looking to regain the form that saw him claim victory at World Cup 4 and the World Cup final in 2016. The standout moment in a 2017 season that has been interrupted by illness and injury was victory at the British Modern Pentathlon Championships in Bath last month so the 26-year-old will be looking to make his mark on this year’s international scene.
24-year-old Toolis who also suffered food poisoning ahead of the Men’s final at the European Championships last month will be looking to build on his 28th place finish in both that event and the opening World Cup of the season in Los Angeles. The University of Bath graduate, who finished 2nd in last month’s British Championships, will be appearing in his 4th consecutive World Championships and first outside Europe.
The final member of the Men’s individual team, Salfords’ Curry, enjoyed an encouraging World Cup season, finishing 17th and 18th in his two events, his best two finishes in World Cup events. The 23-year-old, who is currently studying for a Masters degree at King’s College in London has also fared well domestically this season, winning both Pentathlon GB Ranking competitions before finishing 3rd at the British Modern Tetrathlon Championships in April.
Meanwhile, 19-year-olds Pillage and Sutton will once again team up in the Men’s Relay having already done so at the Junior European Championships and Senior European Championships this season. The event will provide the two British youngsters with more valuable competition experience on the biggest stage as they compete against some of the biggest names in the sport in unfamiliar conditions.
August in Cairo will provide an extremely tough challenge with temperatures set to hit the 40-degree mark and difficult competition conditions including running on sand. It means the British team will face a tough ask to continue a remarkable recent World Championships record that has seen Pentathlon GB athletes claim 10 medals in the last 5 Championships.
- Kate French, 26, originally from Gravesend, Kent. Currently training at Bath NTC.
- Samantha Murray, 27, originally from Clitheroe, Lancashire. Currently training at Bath NTC.
- Joanna Muir, 22, originally from Dumfries, Dumfriesshire. Currently training at Bath NTC.
- Francesca Summers, 21, originally from Dorking, Surrey. Currently training at Bath NTC.
- Joe Choong, 22, originally from Orpington, Greater London. Currently training at Bath NTC.
- Jamie Cooke, 26, originally from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Currently training at Bath NTC.
- Tom Toolis, 24, originally from Romford, Essex. Currently training at Bath NTC.
- Sam Curry, 23, originally from Salfords’, Surrey. Currently training at King’s College London.
- Myles Pillage, 19, originally from Plymouth, Devon. Currently training at Bath NTC.
- Bradley Sutton, 19, originally from Basingstoke, Hampshire. Currently training at Bath NTC.
Full competition schedule:
- Tuesday 22nd August – Men’s Relay
- Thursday 24th August – Men’s Qualifying
- Friday 25th August – Women’s Qualifying
- Saturday 26th August – Men’s Final
- Sunday 27th August – Women’s Final
Report courtesy of Pentathlon GB