Kate French produced another excellent international display as she led the British team home in 8that the World Cup Final in Tokyo.
Fresh off the back of victory at World Cup 4, French was in contention for another strong finish throughout the competition in Japan, and although on this occasion she didn’t quite have the final burst for a medal, another top ten result at the 2020 Olympic test event bodes well for the rest of the season.
Behind her, Jess Varley finished 27th on her first ever World Cup final appearance with Francesca Summers 34th as neither athlete was able to make up significant ground after struggling in the fencing ranking round.
It was a high-quality field that descended in the Olympic city, demonstrated by London 2012 champion Laura Asadauskaite taking gold with Rio medallist Elodie Clouvel silver and reigning World medallist Annika Schleu bronze in hot and humid conditions.
Pentathlon GB’s women will next return to action on home soil when the European Championships are hosted at the University of Bath from 6th to 11th August. Tickets for the event featuring individual and relay competitions are on sale at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/pentathlon-gb
Story of the Day
The women’s final began yesterday (Thursday) with the fencing ranking round where each athlete fences all others. It was 28-year-old French who led the British charge with 20 victories and 15 defeats from her 35 bouts. The opening discipline was more of a struggle for the other two Brits with Varley securing 14 victories and Summers 13.
The Pentathlon GB trio returned with new vigour on the second day of the competition though with French swimming an impressive 2:15.82. There were also strong swims in the pool from Dorking’s Summers (2:20.89) and Fotheringhay’s Varley (2:21.76). That left French as the leading Brit in 8th with Varley 27th and Summers 33rd heading into the ride.
From that point on, there was little change in position for the British trio, although their routes to their final results did differ dramatically. An excellent ride from French saw her pick up just 3 time faults to score 297 for her round whilst Varley recorded 293 points after rolling a single pole. Summers had a tougher time in the third discipline with four refusals seeing the 23-year-old eliminated from the ride and ending her hopes of moving up the leaderboard.
A solid laser run from Rio Olympian French saw her maintain her position inside the top 10 as she crossed the line 8th with Varley coming home 27th as the humid conditions took their toll on a number of athletes. After her disappointment in the ride, a strong bounceback in the run-shoot from Summers saw her end the competition in 34th.
Tomorrow sees the men’s final taking place at the World Cup Final with Joe Choong, Tom Toolis and Jamie Cooke in action for Pentathlon GB. Choong, who topped the regular season World Cup standings, leads the British charge in 5th after their fencing ranking round with Toolis 15th and current World Champion Cooke 21st after the opening discipline.
Courtesy of Pentathlon GB