Hertfordshire’s Alex Bousfield and Yorkshire’s Toby Price claim mixed relay bronze on final day of competition
Bousfield leads girls’ team to fine team silver after finishing 6th in individual competition
Wiltshire’s Sarah Wilson (12th) and Lancashire’s Emma Whitaker (17th) join Bousfield on podium
Price heads boys team home in 14th, closely followed by Kent’s James Wilton in 17th
Pentathlon GB’s Under 19 team enjoyed a double medal haul at the Under 19 European Cup in Spain this weekend with Alex Bousfield and Toby Price claiming a bronze medal in the mixed relay today after Bousfield, Sarah Wilson and Emma Whitaker took silver in the girls’ team event on Saturday.
The podium finishes highlighted an encouraging competition for Pentathlon GB’s youth squad with six athletes recording individual top 20 finishes, headed by Bousfield’s superb 6th in a world-class Under 19 field. She was followed by Wilson (12th), Whitaker (17th) and Georgina Mitchell (19th) in the girls’ event with Price leading the boys home in 14th. Kent’s James Wilton also impressed in finishing 17th with George Case 36th and Kieran Harby 39th in dreadful conditions in Spain.
In the Mixed relay, Wilson and Kieran Harby also performed strongly to finish just off the podium in 4th with Whitaker and Case 14th and Mitchell and Wilton 19th.
The competition began on Friday (23rd March) where the girls started with their 200m swim. The British quartet showed they were on good form as they all produced performances close to their best, including a massive PB for Wilson.
The competition then moved to the fencing hall where all athletes were in for a long slog with 52 girls entered in the competition. There was more positive news to follow with Mitchell recording a magnificent 36 victories and 15 defeats with Bousfield one hit further back. Wilson, making just her second international appearance, put in an impressive performance to finish with a positive score of 28V and 23D.
It meant that the Brits were well placed before returning refreshed for the second day of the competition on Saturday. They were greeted by miserable conditions in Catalonia but all four girls knuckled down to the task at hand. Bousfield stayed towards the top end of the field throughout, crossing the line in 6th place at the competition’s conclusion. Strong running from both Wilson and Whitaker saw them make up significant ground in the final discipline with Wiltshire’s Wilson coming home 12th and Lancashire’s Whitaker 17th. The grit and determination was rewarded with a silver medal in the team event whilst Mitchell crossed the line 19th to complete a strong set of individual results.
It was just the fencing discipline that took place for the boys on the first day, but that was to be a marathon itself with a staggering 62 entries. Good perseverance and concentration was demonstrated by the quartet with Yorkshire Pentathlon Club’s Toby Price leading the way with 34 victories and 27 defeats.
Refreshed for day 2, the boys followed the girls’ lead as they all produced strong performances in the pool meaning all four improved their positions in the overall standings with Price 16th, Wilton 19th, Harby 26th and Case 39th after the opening two disciplines.
The miserable conditions remained but once again the British youngsters showed admirable dedication in the laser run with Yorkshire’s Price rounding off a fine competition to move into the top 15 of the overall standings, closely followed by Kent’s Wilton in 17th. Somerset’s Case, the youngest member of the boys’ team, also picked up places in the final discipline to cross the line 36th, just ahead of Nottinghamshire’s Harby in 39th.
The mixed relay started in the fencing hall where the British performances set the tone for their entire days. Bousfield continued her fine form in the discipline, helping her and Price to 25 victories and 17 defeats from their 42 bouts, followed by Wilton and Harby who combined to produce a level fence of 21V, 21D.
All British athletes continued their fine form in the pool as all four pairs finished inside the top 10 of the discipline standings. It meant Hertfordshire’s Bousfield and Yorkshire’s Price were the leading Pentathlon GB team in 6th after the opening two disciplines.
An exciting laser run followed with many of the leading team evenly matched in the run-shoot discipline. There was to be drama at the line though with three teams battling it out for silver in the home straight and Price being clearly impeded as he made his challenge for a medal. Having consequently crossed the line 4th, Bousfield and Price were upgraded to bronze with the offending nation eliminated.
They were followed home by Wilson and Harby, making it two British teams in the top 4 of a very strong field. Whitaker and Case moved up six places in the final discipline to finish 14th overall with Mitchell and Wilton 19th at the competition’s conclusion.
The next youth international of the season is the Under 19 World Championships which take place in Portugal from 8th-14th April.
Report courtesy of Pentathlon GB