Annabel Denton, Sarah Wilson and Emma Whitaker claimed team bronze on a brilliant day for Pentathlon GB athletes at the Under 19 World Championships in Sofia.
A superb display from Denton saw her lead the Brits home in 9th with Wilson 13th and Whitaker 15th in the Bulgarian capital whilst Georgina Mitchell finished 19th to put all four athletes inside the top 20 and make GB one of the standout nations of the women’s event.
Team bronze courtesy of the leading trio’s scores was a 25th medal of the 2019 season for Pentathlon GB athletes and underlined the current strength in depth at all ages groups after a string of senior and junior medals over the past few months.
The results were particularly impressive given Denton, Wilson and Whitaker were all competing in their first Under 19 World Championships final whilst Mitchell also recorded her best ever Under 19 major championship finish.
Story of the Day – Under 19 Girls’ Final
The Under 19 Girls’ final started in the pool with the 200m swim. It was Plymouth College’s Mitchell who led the British charge, recording a 2:21.00 with Rossall Pentathlon Academy’s Whitaker just behind in 2:21.48. 16-year-old Denton, the youngest member of the British Under 19 team, opened her day in 2:24.75 with Bath Pentathlon Club’s Wilson improving on her qualifying time to stop the clock in 2:35.15. That left the British quartet all well placed heading into the all-important fencing discipline.
It was 18-year-old Mitchell who excelled in the fencing hall, some excellent hits seeing her end the discipline with 27 victories and just 8 defeats from her 35 bouts, only bettered by Russia’s Yana Soloveva.
After struggling initially, the remaining British trio all ended on a high with a fine final 7 rounds. Plymouth College’s Denton was particularly impressive, winning 12 of her last 14 bouts to finish with 20 victories and 15 defeats to her name. Wilson’s strong finish also saw her end with a positive fence of 18 victories and 17 defeats with Whitaker securing 16 hits.
It was also a profitable bonus round for the Pentathlon GB athletes with Whitaker winning four additional bouts and Denton adding two points to her score. Mitchell, who was the penultimate athlete onto the piste after finishing second in the ranking round got the hit in the final two bouts to win the fencing bonus round and end a positive morning on a high.
That meant Mitchell sat 2nd in the overall standings with Denton 9th, Whitaker 16th and Wilson 23rd heading into the laser run. However, gaps between most of the field were relatively small meaning there was still plenty up for grabs in the final discipline.
Some strong running from Denton helped her maintain her position in 9th to record an impressive top 10 Under 19 World Championships finish. Behind her, another blistering run-shoot display from Wilson saw her make up significant ground as she crossed the line 13th, one place behind her result from June’s Under 19 European Championships. Whitkaker also produced a strong laser run as she came home 15th with Mitchell crossing the line 19th to make it all four Brits inside the top 20.
Denton, Wilson and Whitaker’s results also saw the British trio claim team bronze, a first Pentathlon GB team medal at the Under 19 World Championships since 2014. It was though, a second medal of the week for the team after Wilson and Josh Hood claimed mixed relay silver on Saturday.
Tomorrow sees the Under 19 men’s final taking place in Sofia with Toby Price the sole Pentathlon GB representative in action after coming through qualifying yesterday. Denton will also be back in action as she competes alongside Sam Cobb in the Under 17 mixed relay, reiterating her impressive individual performance today against some significantly more experienced athletes.
Courtesy of Pentathlon GB