Source: Jon Rowley.

Joe Choong and Elena Micheli defend World Champs titles

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Pentathlon GB’s Joe Choong won gold on home soil and Italy’s Elena Micheli defended her women’s crown on a truly Super Sunday of UIPM Pentathlon World Championships finals action at the University of Bath.

Olympic Champion Choong, who trains and studied at the University, had a 10-second lead going into the laser-run after strong riding, fencing and swimming performances but had to hold off a fierce challenge from Mexico’s Emiliano Hernandez before pulling away to retain his men’s crown in phenomenal fashion in front of a vocal home crowd.

Kerenza Bryson and family photo: Jon Rowley.

The women’s final had seen Micheli also defend the title she won in 2022 in emphatic style as she led an Italian 1-2 with Alice Sotero, who had started the day in 17th, while Pentathlon GB’s Kerenza Bryson provided the home fans with plenty to cheer as she claimed a brilliant bronze.

Pentathlon GB won silver in both team events, with Choong being joined on the men’s podium by fellow Bath graduate Myles Pillage and Sports Management & Coaching student Charlie Brown. Olivia Green and Jess Varley completed the women’s team with Bryson after all four British women, including Emma Whitaker, placed in the top 10 of the individual rankings.

Choong said: “Three weeks ago I wasn’t even sure I would be competing as I tore my calf muscle, so I’m absolutely speechless that I won this competition. The crowd has been absolutely amazing and thank you so much for coming, it’s been one of the favourite competitions I’ve ever done.

“It’s really difficult to be negative and think you are tired when you have so many people screaming at you to do well, it really keeps you in a positive mind frame and brings the best out of you.”

Women’s champion Micheli said: “Me and my coaches have worked really hard for this and I’m really happy we could make that dream come true today. We are twice World Champion now and I’m so excited.”

Plymouth’s Bryson, who secured a Paris 2024 Olympic Games quota place for Britain, added: “I ran out of the last range sprinting and held on for dear life. It wasn’t until I looked back with 70m to go and saw I had some ground that it started to sink in.

“I want to say a massive thank you to my friends and family; to UK Sport and the National Lottery for funding us; to 165 Port and Maritime Regiment in Plymouth, my Army family who are standing behind me and allowing me to do this; and to Pentathlon GB for hosting this amazing event. I’m so grateful to everyone.”

Among those watching the finals at the Team Bath Sports Training Village, which has been home to Pentathlon GB’s National Training Centre for the past 25 years, was Albert II, Price of Monaco.

The Pentathlon World Championships 2023 will conclude on Bank Holiday Monday with the mixed relay competition. Remaining tickets are available at

With thanks to Team Bath