Gloucestershire’s Zoe Davison and Bristol’s Charlie Follett claimed Junior European gold after a supreme display in the women’s relay in Barcelona. The Pentathlon GB duo were in the top two places throughout the day, retaking the lead after a perfect display in the horse-riding arena and not looking back after a dominant display of front running in the laser run.
It continued a fine season for both athletes with Davison claiming silver at the Milan Kadlec Memorial and Junior British Championships over the past 2 months and Follett finishing in bronze medal position at both of those events. However, this topped those competitions and it was also the first major international medal for both girls, marking a significant step in their modern pentathlon careers.
Story of the Day
The day began in the pool with the 200m swim. Although not her favourite discipline in the individual event, 21-year-old Follett has showed she is more than capable as a relay partner, helping to produce strong swim times in both of her appearances in World Cup mixed relays this season. That trend continued today, with a strong second half from Davison helping the Brits top the swim standings in 2:03.37.
The fencing discipline has proved critical in many relays this season, so it was an imperative for the Brits to keep themselves in contention. They more than did that with both Stroud’s Davison and Bristol’s Follett producing positive individual scores to finish with 24 victories and 18 defeats from their 42 bouts. That meant the young British duo sat 2nd after the opening two disciplines in Barcelona.
Both athletes are strong riders and they demonstrated that again today with a perfect clear show-jumping round seeing the Brits pick up the maximum 300 points. They were the only partnership to achieve the feat, seeing them move back into the lead and taking a 14-second advantage heading into the laser run.
The final discipline can always produce unpredictability and changes, as was demonstrated in the men’s individual final yesterday. However, there was to be no change in the lead with sharp shooting and strong running from University of Bath student Follett extending their advantage by the changeover. That left Davison with the nerve racking task of completing the job, but the teenager was more than up to challenge, also producing a fine laser run performance to see the Pentathlon GB duo take victory by 20 seconds to become the new Junior European Champions. Behind them, the Czech Republic took silver with Italy claiming bronze.
The gold completed a fine week for both British athletes after Follett recorded a top 10 finish in the women’s individual competition on Tuesday with Davison 16th on her Junior European Championships debut. Tomorrow sees Myles Pillage and Bradley Sutton competing in the men’s relay before Jamie Harper and Holly Parker team up in the mixed relay on Saturday, the final day of the Championships.
Courtesy of Pentathlon GB