With the first day of World Cup 3 (14-18 April) also marking 100 days to go until Tokyo, the British team of pentathletes are set to take to the stage again in Sofia, as the 2021 season continues with back-to-back competition weekends.
With the 2021 World Cup competitions confirmed as events in which Olympic Ranking points are available, the competition in Sofia will be another chance for the British athletes chasing qualification for Tokyo to cement their position on the UIPM’s Olympic Ranking list.
Two athletes returning to World Cup 3 in Sofia to do just that will be Francesca Summers and Jo Muir. Both athletes have secured top 10 finishes in both of the first two events of the season, with Muir earning herself a Silver in Budapest, and have rightfully been rewarded for their consistency, finding themselves in 2nd and 5th on the Olympic Ranking List.
Jessica Varley will also be competing at World Cup 3, after she made her 2021 season debut last week. The 11th place finish, after nearly 14months away from competition, will certainly have given Varley confidence as she continues her 2021 season on Wednesday.
Kate French returns to the UK after back-to-back medal winning performances and taking her place to complete the team in World Cup 3 will be Olivia Green. Green made an excellent start to the 2021 season in Budapest. Making her individual world cup debut, Green put on a resilient performance in the individual competition, and despite not qualifying for the final, more than made up for her disappointment by taking the Gold in the mixed relay with Joe Choong. With crucial experience now under her belt, Green will be looking to apply herself as she returns to the team in World Cup 3.
The men’s team that competed at World Cup 2 remains unchanged ahead of World Cup 3.
Fresh off his 6th place finish, Tom Toolis will be looking to replicate his success from last week and hoping he can go one step further to challenge for a medal after he was so close at World Cup 2. He too will be looking to earn important Olympic ranking points, now finding himself ranked 15th overall.
Curry too returns after a personal best and top 10 finish in Budapest was backed up by a 16th place finish in Sofia. In both competitions Curry has not only produced solid performances across the disciplines but has regularly found himself amongst the highest scoring at various points across the day – including a clear round in Sofia.
Joining his teammates, Joe Choong will be hoping for a more settled performance after his 2021 season seems to have been a tale of highs and lows so far. A disappointing 32nd place finish at World Cup 1, was immediately rectified by a Gold medal in the Mixed Relay at the same event. The Rio Olympian took the time to reset and refocus ahead of Sofia and despite an excellent start and finish at World Cup 2, penalties picked up in the ride, saw Choong lose position and finish 15th overall. Having spent so long away from competition, World Cup 3 offers Choong the chance to put together the complete performance he is looking for as he prepares for Tokyo later in the year.
And finally, also hoping for more luck at this week’s event is Jamie Cooke. A 16th place finish at World Cup 1 – which agonisingly saw Cooke have to relinquish places in the final lap of the laser run due to injury – was followed by difficulties in the final shoot at World Cup 2 denying him a place in the final.
World Cup 3 in Sofia begins on Thursday (15th April) with the Women’s semi-final, followed by the Men’s semi-final on Friday (16th April). Respective finals will follow on Saturday 17th April (Women) and Sunday 18th April (Men).
Pentathlon GB will be sharing updates throughout both the finals on our twitter page. Fans can also cheer the team on via UIPM TV; with live streams of the fencing bonus round, the riding and the Laser Run available to watch.
Courtesy of Pentathlon GB