Junior athletes Charlie Follett and Bradley Sutton put up a magnificent display in the World Cup 3 mixed relay as they narrowly missed out on a medal after challenging at the top end of the leaderboard throughout the day. The young British duo were hanging on to bronze heading into the final shoot but a tough visit to the range saw them drop to 8th at the competition’s conclusion, a place far lower than their performance had warranted.
Story of the Day
The day began in the pool where both athletes swam strongly. Bristol’s Follett, fresh off the back of a 200m PB at last weekend’s Milan Kadlec Memorial, handed over in a good position and Basingstoke’s Sutton followed that up to see the Brits record a time of 2:00.37, the fourth quickest of the day.
The fencing hall has badly damaged British hopes of a strong finish at both of the opening two World Cups but there was to be no such problems in Hungary today. After winning their opening four bouts, University of Bath students Follett and Sutton maintained their momentum, finishing the discipline with 18 victories and 12 defeats.
Defeat by China meant there were no extra points in the fencing bonus round for the Brits but their excellent ranking score performance saw them move up a place to 3rd after the opening two disciplines.
The ride proved to be a tricky affair for all nations on a tight and technical course with a strict time limit but 21-year-old Follett and 19-year-old Sutton showed maturity beyond their years on a couple of difficult horses as they avoided any obstacle penalties. There were some time deductions, but the Brits still picked up 284 points for their round, the second highest score of the day in the discipline and enough to move them up another place to 2nd in the overall standings.
With some much more experienced athletes lined-up behind them, the pressure was firmly on the Pentathlon GB pair going into the laser run with both athletes only making their second ever World Cup appearances. Former Leweston Pentathlon Academy athlete Follett, fresh off the back of an individual bronze medal in Prague last week, showed she was on good form, getting her 10 green lights from just 11 shots on the range and matching Ireland around her second 800m loop to hand over alongside the Emerald Isle nation.
The pressure was only increasing, particularly with those behind continuing to close in and it was to be the shooting range that proved critical as former Hartpury College student Sutton lost time to those around him. It meant that Sutton and Follett crossed the line 8th but it was still a commendable effort from the two junior athletes with plenty of positives to take into the remainder of the season.
Reflecting on their day, Sutton commented “We can both take great experience from our performance today. I’m pleased with my improvements in the swim, fence, ride and run and determined to improve on my poor shooting from today.
“I will take lots of positives from today, especially considering the strong and experienced field we were up against.”
Follett added “As a team we had a great day today and there are lots of positives to take away. I’m pleased that my mental and skill disciplines are all in a good place at the moment.
Looking ahead to the next couple of months, Follett concluded “The next few weeks will have lots of revision and exams but after that I look forward to pushing on for the rest of the season.”
The mixed relay rounded off a promising competition for Pentathlon GB athletes with Joe Choong recording a fine fifth place in the men’s competition whilst Kate French and Jo Muir both finished inside the top 20 of the women’s event on their return to international action. The next World Cup takes place in Sofia, Bulgaria from 23-27 May. Before that, Pentathlon GB’s Under 19 team will be in action at the U19 Czech Open in Prague next weekend.
Courtesy of Pentathlon GB