Pentathlon GB’s Jess Varley and Jamie Harper produced a scintillating laser run to charge through the field and claim a bronze medal at the Under 24 European Championships Mixed Relay in Poland.
It made it two bronzes in three days for the Pentathlon GB team at the Championships following Varley, Kerenza Bryson and Zoe Davison’s women’s team medal on Thursday. Davison was also competing for a second time this week as she teamed up with fellow youngster Bradley Sutton to finish 12th.
Story of the Day
Each nation was allowed to enter two teams into today’s mixed relay with Pentathlon GB Coach Michal Janca choosing to partner Fotheringhay’s Varley with Cheltenham’s Harper and Stroud’s Davison with Basingstoke’s Sutton. The day began in the fencing hall with both British pairs finding the going tough. However, all four athletes fought to the final bout and at the end of the day Harper and Varley would get their reward.
Despite it being the least favourite discipline of both athletes, Pentathlon GB National Training Centre based duo Harper and Varley managed to haul themselves up to 17 victories from their 44 bouts, placing them in 10th after the opening discipline. Meanwhile, the teenage team of Davison and Sutton picked up 10 victories in the fencing hall meaning they sat 12th in the early stages.
In the pool, it was Sutton and Davison; both known as strong swimmers who led the British charge, with their time of 1:57.38 less than two tenths away from the quickest of the day. The Gloucestershire-Northamptonshire Davison and Sutton still two places behind.
All four athletes are accomplished horse riders and they demonstrated it in the third discipline. 20-year-old Harper and 22-year-old Varley rolled just a single pole between them, picking up 293 points and equalling the best ride score of the day. Gloucestershire’s Davison and Hampshire’s Sutton also produced a good round to secure 284 points. Despite staying in 10th, it meant that Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) duo Varley and Harper closed the gap to the teams in front of them whilst Davison and Sutton did gain a position, moving up to 11th ahead of the concluding laser run.
A thrilling final discipline followed with numerous teams challenging for a medal and Varley and Harper moving up the order throughout. Eventually it came down to a shoot-out for bronze but Harper secured a place on the podium for the University of Bath duo, and the first international medal of his career, in a sprint finish. Behind them, Davison and Sutton rounded off a successful Championships for the Pentathlon GB team with a 12th place finish.
Report courtesy of Pentathlon GB