12 selected for Senior Euros as Juniors given relay chance
12 Pentathlon GB athletes have been selected for the 2017 Senior European Championships in Minsk as 3 Junior athletes are given an opportunity to compete in the relay competitions.
Samantha Murray and Jamie Cooke both ensured their places on the plane with victories at the 2017 British Modern Pentathlon Championships and it will be the top 4 finishers in both the Women’s and Men’s competitions who compete at the Senior European Championships.
It means that Clitheroe’s Sam will be joined in the Women’s team by Gravesend’s Kate French, Dumfries’ Jo Muir and Dorking’s Francesca Summers in Belarus whilst Romford’s Tom Toolis, Orpington’s Joe Choong and Salfords’ Sam Curry will compete alongside Gloucester’s Jamie in the Men’s competition.
Fotheringhay’s Jess Varley, who finished 5th at the British Championships will compete in both the Women’s and Mixed Relays. Jess will partner Bristol’s Charlie Follett in the Women’s Relay and Plymouth’s Myles Pillage in the Mixed Relay. Meanwhile, Myles will also double up in the relays as he joins Basingstoke’s Bradley Sutton in the Men’s relay team.
Pentathlon GB athletes have enjoyed medal success at recent European Championships with Sam, Kate and Freyja Prentice claiming women’s team gold on home soil in 2015 and Sam, Kate and Jo collecting team silver 12 months ago.
27-year-old Sam has been improving throughout 2017, recording her best World Cup result of the season at World Cup 4 in Poland before tasting victory in the British Championships at the beginning of June. Meanwhile, 26-year-old Kate has been the standout British performer so far this season, topping the Women’s World Cup Standings after 1st, 2nd and 6th place finishes at her three World Cup events. Kate, who finished 5th on her Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro last year, currently sits a career high 3rd in the World Rankings and has fond memories of the European Championships having secured the Rio Qualifying criteria after finishing 8th at the 2015 Euros.
22-year-old Jo recorded a magnificent 5th place finish in Sofia at last year’s European Championships, her best result at a major international to date. The Dorothy House Sporting Ambassador has continued her fine form into 2017 with a first ever World Cup top 10 in Poland and gold and bronze medals on home soil in the British Modern Tetrathlon Championships and British Modern Pentathlon Championships. After missing most of the 2016 season through injury, 21-year-old Frankie has also enjoyed a strong start to the year and also recorded a best ever World Cup result when she finished 10th in Hungary before contending for victory in Poland until a tough round in the ride.
Jamie, who claimed his first ever British Modern Pentathlon title with victory in Bath at the beginning of June, originally burst onto the senior modern pentathlon circuit with a 4th place finish in the 2011 European Championships as a Junior athlete. After a tough start to 2017, the 26-year-old will be looking to return to the form that saw him win World Cup 4 and the World Cup Final last season. Fellow Rio Olympian Joe Choong secured his place at the Games with a 7th place finish at the 2015 European Championships in Bath. After taking time out from the sport to concentrate on his Mathematics degree at the University of Bath over the winter, Joe returned to action with a 5th place finish at the German Open Championships in April.
Tom Toolis will be appearing in his 4th consecutive Senior European Championships in Minsk. The 24-year-old finished his degree in May so will be looking to build on his silver medal at the British Championships now that he is back in full time training. Meanwhile, Sam Curry was another Pentathlon GB athlete to record a World Cup career best this season when he finished 17th in Los Angeles. Tom and Sam also have fond memories of European Championships, their career highlight to date arriving at the 2014 Championships in Hungary when the claimed bronze in the Men’s Relay.
The Women’s Relay will began the 2017 Championships with Jess Varley and Charlie Follett competing for Pentathlon GB. Jess enjoyed a strong start to the season, marking her World Cup debut in the USA with an encouraging 18th place finish. The 22-year-old picked up an injury in April but bounced back well to finish 5th at the British Modern Pentathlon Championships last month. 20-year-old Charlie finished as the top Brit at last week’s Junior European Championships when she finished 21st in Barcelona. Minsk will mark her first appearance at a major senior international
Junior duo Bradley Sutton and Myles Pillage, who both moved to Pentathlon GB’s National Training Centre at the University of Bath in September will compete in the Men’s Relay. Myles has already enjoyed relay success this season with a silver medal in the Mixed relay at World Cup 2 in Poland whilst Brad was the sole British athlete to qualify for the men’s final at last week’s Junior European Championships where he eventually finished 33rd in his debut at the event.
Fothringhay’s Jess and Plymouth’s Myles will team up in the Mixed Relay on the final day of the Championships in Belarus.
- Kate French, 26, originally from Gravesend, Kent. Currently training at Bath NTC. Rio 2016 Olympian and 2017 World Cup 2 gold medallist.
- Samantha Murray, 27, originally from Clitheroe, Lancashire. Currently training at Bath NTC. London 2012 silver medallist and 2014 World Champion.
- Joanna Muir, 22, originally from Dumfries. Currently training at Bath NTC. 2016 World Championships Women’s Relay silver medallist & 2017 British Modern Tetrathlon Champion.
- Francesca Summers, 21, originally from Dorking, Surrey. Currently training at Bath NTC. 2015 Junior World Champion.
- Jess Varley, 22, originally from Fortheringhay. Currently training at the Bath NTC. 2016 Swiss Open Championships gold medallist.
- Charlie Follett, 20, from Bristol. Currently training at the Bath NTC. 2017 Swiss Women International silver medallist.
- Jamie Cooke, 26, originally from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Currently training at Bath NTC. Rio 2016 Olympian and 2016 World Cup Final Champion.
- Joe Choong, 21, originally from Orpington, London. Currently training at Bath NTC. Rio 2016 Olympian & 2017 British Modern Tetrathlon Champion..
- Tom Toolis, 24, originally from Romford, Essex. Currently training at Bath NTC. 2014 European Championships Men’s Relay bronze medallist.
- Sam Curry, 23, originally from Salfords, Surrey. Currently training at Kings College London. 2014 European Championships Men’s Relay bronze medallist.
- Myles Pillage, 19, from Plymouth, Devon. Currently training at the Bath NTC. 2017 World Cup 2 Mixed Relay silver medalist.
- Bradley Sutton, 18, from Basingstoke, Hampshire. Currently training at the Bath NTC. 2015 & 2016 British Under 19 Modern Pentathlon Champion.
Full competition schedule:
- Tuesday 18th July– Women’s Relay
- Wednesday 19th July – Men’s Relay
- Thursday 20th July – Women’s Qualifying
- Friday 21st July – Men’s Qualifying
- Saturday 22nd July – Women’s Final
- Sunday 23rd July – Men’s Final
- Monday 24th July – Mixed Relay