Pentathlon GB’s Parker and Harper finish 4th in Junior Worlds

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Holly Parker and Jamie Harper produced a superb display as they finished 4th in the mixed relay at the Junior World Championships, agonisingly missing out on a medal by a single second at the end of another brutal day in Kladno.

Although the one point they didn’t get will be the focus for a while, the 1431 they did score came from excellent performances in all five disciplines as the young British duo should skill, stamina, and determination to bounce back in fine style after missing out on the individual finals.

In an extremely strong junior field, the Brits were in medal contention throughout the day as Parker and Harper both produced one of their best international performances to date to end a successful week on a high for the Pentathlon GB team.

Story of the Day

The final day of the 2018 Junior World Championships began in the pool with the 200m swim. With a bumper 20 nations in action, every discipline was going to be vital and a strong performance in the opener from Holly and Jamie got their day off to a great start with a time of 2:02.40.

In the fencing hall, the Brits were on a negative score midway through the discipline standings. However, a superb finish from the 21-year-olds saw them win twelve of their last sixteen bouts, including some beautifully timed hits, to finish the discipline on a total score of 22 victories and 16 defeats. The University of Bath based duo continued that momentum into the fencing bonus round, securing additional victories over Hungary and Kazakhstan to add two additional points to their overall score. That left the Brits in third after the opening two disciplines and well placed for a strong finish.

Unusually, things were still extremely tight at the top of the leaderboard heading into the riding arena. However, the Pentathlon GB pair kept their composure, with one of the best rounds of the day on a tricky show-jumping course. Just a single pole and two time faults saw Parker and Harper score 291 points, moving them up to second heading into the laser run.

However, with 9 nations still realistically in with a shot at the podium, everything boiled down to a thrilling laser run. With junior world medals up for grabs and temperatures still in the 30s, tension was rife throughout the field but the Brits kept their hopes alive as others around them faltered. With Russia clear in the lead and South Korea in second, it came down to a battle for bronze with the French team of Emma Riff and Paolo Singh who finished 5th and 13th in the individual competitions just pipping the Brits to the final medal. Although not to be a medal, there was still plenty to be proud of for the British pairing with another fine team performance to add to their 5th place finish at the mixed relay in the Junior European Championships earlier this season.

The result was the second 4th place of the week for Pentathlon GB athletes after Zoe Davison’s individual performance on Saturday whilst Bradley Sutton and Myles Pillage finished 5th in the men’s relay and the trio of Davison, Charlie Follett and Georgia Hannam finished 5th in the women’s team competition. There were also individual top 20s for Follett (14th) and Myles Pillage (20th) whilst Georgia Hannam finished 32nd after qualifying for her first major junior championships final.

The Championships mark the end of the 2017-18 junior international season which saw Charlie Follett and Zoe Davison become the new Junior European Champions in the women’s relay whilst Myles Pillage and Bradley Sutton claimed bronze in the men’s relay at the same event. The next time Pentathlon GB athletes will be in action is at the Senior World Championships in Mexico which begin on Monday 10th September with women’s qualifying.

Courtesy of Pentathlon GB