Trio through to men’s final at European Championships

11th July 2014

Britain’s Nick Woodridge, Joe Evans and Joe Choong will contest the men’s final at the Modern Pentathlon European Championships in Hungary on Sunday after qualifying from the heats today (Friday).
Woodbridge, back in action for the first time in almost a year after a hip injury, and 20-year-old Evans both qualified automatically for the final in Székesfehérvár by securing top-12 finishes in their heats.
They will be joined by 19-year-old Choong who secured a final berth on his senior international debut as one of the next top 12 points scorers across the two heats, but Jamie Cooke just missed out.
“It was a positive day for the team. Joe Evans had a fantastic day and looked really strong, and it was good to see Nick returning to a big competition and qualifying for the final,” said Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB’s Performance Director.
“It was a good day for Joe Choong too and he has another opportunity to gain experience at this level on Sunday,” he added. “Jamie was trying to defend his position in the combined event, but unfortunately he just couldn’t run anyone down at the end.”
As Cooke, Evans and Woodbridge were the three nominated scorers for the team competition, the British team will not now be able to challenge for the medals in that event.
The young British pair of Evans and Choong were both competing in group A, which started in the day in the fencing hall. Evans won 12 of his 26 contests for joint 16th, while Choong won 10 bouts for joint 20th.
Strong performances in the pool saw Evans and Choong climb up the leaderboard. Evans’ 200m freestyle time of 1:59.59 was the fastest in group A, promoting him to ninth overall, while Choong’s 2:02.75 was sixth fastest, pushing him up to 17th.
Evans made sure of his place in the final by crossing the line second behind Hungary’s Robert Kasza in a group of four athletes separated by just two seconds. He completed the run/shoot in 11:39.91.
Choong run/shoot of 11:47.02 saw him come home in 19th, but he then faced an anxious wait until the completion of group B to see if his points total was enough to progress.
Group B started in the pool, giving Cooke and Woodbridge the chance to get off to a decent start. They both took that opportunity, coming second and third respectively.
Cooke clocked a 200m freestyle time of 1:57.72, a time that was only bettered by Poland’s Remigiusz, while Woodbridge came home in 1:59.02.
Woodbridge fenced well, winning 15 of his 26 bouts, to climb to second place overall, while Cooke’s 10 victories saw him drop to joint ninth going to the run/shoot.  
Woodbridge crossed the line in sixth to make sure of his place in the final after a combined event time of 12:21.77. Cooke finished 18th in group B with a run/shoot of 12:08.38. However, his points total of 1105 wasn’t quite enough to secure a place in the final, but young Choong did to progress from group A.
Tomorrow (Saturday) Kate French, Samantha Murray, Freyja Prentice and Mhairi Spence contest the women’s individual final, with the scores achieved by French, Murray and Spence counting towards the GB team total.
The British women are aiming to defend the team title they won a year ago.
The 2015 European Championships will take place at the University of Bath from 17 to 23 August and will be the first opportunity for European athletes to achieve the Olympic qualifying standard for the Rio 2016 Games.
British team for 2014 European Championships
Individual competitions


Kate French – 11.02.91, from: Meopham, Gravesend – lives: Bath
Mhairi Spence – 31.08.85, Farr, near Inverness – Bath
Freyja Prentice – 20.05.90, – Inverurie near Aberdeen - Bath
Samantha Murray – 25.09.89, Clitheroe, Lancashire – Bath
Joe Choong – 23.05.95, Orpington - Bath
Jamie Cooke -  03.03.91, Cheltenham – Bath
Joe Evans - 05.09.93,  Whitchurch, Shropshire – Bath
Nick Woodbridge – 01.07.86, Telford, Shropshire - Bath
Team relays

Alice Fitton  - 05.08.94 from Atherton, Greater Manchester - lives Bath
Jo Muir - 30.08.94, Dumfries -  Bath
Sam Curry - 03.09.93, Salfords, Surrey - Bath
Tom Toolis – 23.12.92, Hornchurch, North East London - Bath
Mixed team relay  *
Samantha Murray
Joe Evans
*may be subject to change
2014 European Championships schedule
Thursday 10 July: women’s heats
Friday 11 July: men’s heats
Saturday 12 July: women’s final (incl team competition)
Sunday 13 July: men’s final (incl team competition)
Monday 14 July: mixed relay
Tuesday 15 July: men’s & women’s team relays