2019 got off to the perfect start as all five Pentathlon GB athletes in action made it through to the women’s final at the Budapest Indoor Competition. The traditional season opener saw nearly 60 athletes battling for a place in the last 36 with Charlie Follett, Zoe Davison, Olivia Green, Jessica Varley and Joanna Muir all impressing on their way to qualification.
Story of the Day – Group A
After Jamie Cooke’s dramatic World triumph, a historic men’s team World Championships silver medal and Jess Varley’s Under 24 European bronze medal rounded off an incredible 2018, spirits were high within the Pentathlon GB camp heading into the new year and it showed on the first day of 2019 international action. Straight from the off things were going well for the British team with 21-year-old Follett and teenagers Davison and Green securing some great hits during the Group A fence.
It was Bristol’s Follett who led the way with 15 victories and 11 defeats from her 26 bouts, one victory ahead of Stroud’s Davison. However, it was arguably 19-year-old Green who produced the best performance, marking her modern pentathlon international debut with a fine score of 13 victories and 13 defeats.
The young Pentathlon GB trio also impressed in the pool with Davison, fresh off the back of an outstanding first season at junior level, recording the second quickest time of the group in 2:11.39. She was followed by Green (2:16.78) and Follett (2:16.82) which meant all three Brits were inside the top 15 qualifying places heading into the laser run.
From there, their passage to the final was never in doubt with the three University of Bath based athletes all producing controlled performances in the run-shoot to ease into Wednesday’s showpiece.
Story of the Day — Group B
It was a very similar story for Jo Muir and Jess Varley in Group B with both athletes impressing in the early stages of the day. The 200m swim saw Scotland’s Muir stop the clock in 2:15.24 with Varley recording a new personal best of 2:16.40 despite the infancy of the season.
Muir, who was the highest placed British female athlete at last year’s World Championships also produced an impressive fence with 16 victories and 10 defeats from her 26 bouts with Varley, making a first appearance since her U24 bronze, just one hit further back. That meant both Brits were inside the top 10 heading into the laser run.
With 24-year-old Muir and 23-year-old Varley being among the strongest run-shooters in the field, they maintained their places, crossing the line together to ensure all five British women made it through to the final and underlining the current strength in depth of the British squad.
The British quintet will return to action on Wednesday for the women’s final. Before then, men’s qualifying takes place tomorrow (Tuesday 29th January) with Jamie Cooke, Joe Choong, Tom Toolis, Sam Curry, Myles Pillage and Bradley Sutton looking to replicate the success of the female counterparts in the Hungarian capital.
Courtesy of Pentathlon GB