Francesca Summers, Kerenza Bryson and Charlie Follett all made it through to the World Cup 1 final on a successful opening day to the 2019 World Cup season for Pentathlon GB athletes in Cairo. Twelve months on from her maiden World Cup appearance, it was a particularly notable achievement for Follett as she qualified for a WC final for the first time in her career after battling through in the laser run. The fourth and youngest member of the PGB team, Gloucestershire’s Zoe Davison missed out on a spot in the final by just 5 places.
Story of the Day – Group A
Surrey’s Summers and Plymouth’s Bryson were placed in qualifying Group A, starting their day in the pool with the 200m swim. Although not the favoured discipline of either athlete, both performed well with Frankie stopping the clock in 2:23.50 and Kerenza just behind in 2:25.31, setting them up well for the day ahead.
A strong display in the fencing hall from former Junior World Champion Summers saw her vault up the group leaderboard, 23 victories and 10 defeats and ensured a comfortable passage to qualification would follow. Bryson, who qualified for the final of the Cairo World Cup two years ago also performed well in the second discipline, finishing with a positive score of 18 victories and 15 defeats from her 33 bouts.
That meant both Brits were inside the top 15 automatic qualifying slots heading into the laser run with Summers maintaining her position at the top echelons of the group throughout before taking top spot on the line. Bryson also performed well and a composed performance saw her cross the line 13th, a couple of places ahead of reigning European Marie Oteiza, as she also booked her place in the Friday’s final.
Story of the Day – Group B
Bristol’s Follett and Stroud’s Davison who are both based at Pentathlon GB’s National Training Centre at the University of Bath were placed in qualifying Group B. With the high temperatures in the Egyptian capital, they also began their day in the pool, Davison setting the GB pace in 2:17.96. Follett, who is also studying for a Psychology degree at Bath, started her day well too, a 2:21.79 ensuring she was well placed after the opening discipline.
The GB duo, who are the current Junior European Women’s Relay Champions, had mixed fortunes in the fencing hall which was to dictate their eventual qualification fate. For Follett, a fine display saw her finish with 17 victories and 15 defeats to her name, whilst Davison ended with 14 victories and 18 defeats, a good finish to the discipline ensuring she remained with a chance of qualifying.
Follett’s opening two disciplines meant she was in 15th heading to the laser run and occupying the all-important final automatic qualifying place. However, with those behind aiming to catch the young Brit, an excellent performance saw her maintain a place among the qualifiers, crossing the line 14that the end of the 3200m course. Despite a strong final discipline from Davison, the recently turned 20-year-old had left herself too much to do, meaning she missed out on joining her three teammates in the final.
Summers, Bryson and Follett will all be back on Friday for the women’s final in Cairo. Before that, Myles Pillage, Tom Toolis and Sam Curry compete in men’s qualifying tomorrow (Thursday 28th February).
Courtesy of Pentathlon GB