Fourth, sixth and ninth place relay finishes rounded off the Under 19 European Championships for Pentathlon GB athletes on a busy weekend in Portugal.
It was the girls’ relay team of Olivia Green and Zoe Davison who fared best, narrowly missing out on a podium position with the boys’ team of George Budden and Toby Price coming home 6th today. The Mixed Relay took place yesterday (Saturday 2nd September) with James Wilton and Georgina Mitchell finishing 9th.
The girls’ relay began in the fencing hall with Wycliffe College’s Davison back to her best in the discipline, picking up 14 victories and just 4 defeats from her 18 bouts. Green, who finished 7th in the individual competition on Thursday secured 8 victories meaning as a team they were 3rd in the discipline standings with 22 victories and 14 defeats.
In the pool, the current British number one and number two stopped the clock in 2:04.38, the second quickest time in the field. It meant the Greater Manchester-Gloucestershire pairing were in third position after the opening two disciplines.
The British pair also performed well in the laser run, narrowly missing out on a medal after being overtaken by Italy in the final shoot. Pentathlon GB’s Pathway Manager Stuart Mason commented “Today it was a great effort from the two girls. In the laser run they outran the opposition and looked amazing but one target was our downfall and it dropped us away from the bronze medal.”
The boys’ relay followed a similar pattern to the girls with another marked improvement in the fencing hall from the individual competitions. Both Hampshire’s Budden and Yorkshire’s Price produced positive fences to finish with 21 victories and 15 defeats, finishing 4th in the discipline standings. However, it could have been even better for the British duo as they were joint top of the standings heading into the last round, demonstrating how things can change so quickly in the fencing discipline.
Both boys qualified for the individual final on Friday, finishing 19th and 29th respectively, and a strong swim saw them record a time of 1:56.00, the fifth quickest in the field. It meant that 17-year-old Budden and 16-year-old Price were in 4th place ahead of the concluding laser run.
The Brits held their own in the final discipline, eventually crossing the line 6th to ensure the Championships ended on a positive note for the Pentathlon GB team.
The Mixed Relay took place yesterday with Warwick’s Georgina Mitchell and Kent’s James Wilton competing for Pentathlon GB. They also began their day in the fencing hall, picking up 12 victories and 28 defeats from their 40 bouts.
In the swim, the British duo who are both 3rd on the respective Pentathlon GB boys’ and girls’ ranking lists, were one of seven teams to dip under the two-minute barrier; their time of 1:59.06 fifth quickest. It meant the Brits were in 10th place after the opening two disciplines.
The British youngsters also performed strongly in the concluding laser run, running well and shooting accurately to pick up another place and finish the competition in 9th.
Reflecting on the week as a whole, Pentathlon GB’s Pathway Manager Stuart Mason commented “Whilst not making the podium, as a team we grew in confidence as the competition went through the days. We have taken a huge amount not only from this event, but also the Under 17 European Championships and Under 19 World Championships earlier in the summer.
“We have been stressing for two seasons that the laser run has become hugely significant in the outcome and medal placings at all levels of competition and this is becoming more evident. To see a 10min 30sec result from an Under 19 boy – with another time under 11 minutes – is a special performance.
The girls are just as strong and in both the boys and girls at all age categories we have to react to this.”
Stuart concluded “Overall our athletes competed to the best of their abilities and can now take some well-earned rest after a busy summer schedule.”
Report courtesy of Pentathlon GB