Evans 13th at European Championships

13th July 2014

Britain’s modern pentathletes missed out on the medals in the men’s final at the European Championships in Hungary today (Sunday).
Twenty-year-old Joe Evans was the highest placed British finisher in Székesfehérvár in 13th place.
Double Olympian Nick Woodbridge, competing for the first time in almost a year following a hip injury, won both the swim and the ride, but his challenge faded at the end of the run/shoot and he came home in 29th.
And 19-year-old Joe Choong, competing at his first senior international, finished 36th.
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB Performance Director, said: “This was one of the most intense European Championships finals I have ever experienced. There were no weak athletes and from the first fencing match everyone had to battle for every single point.
“Joe Evans was absolutely outstanding in the swim, had a decent ride and held his own in the combined event. He is young but he has shown he is a great competitor under pressure,” he added. “Nick swam and rode well, and was holding his own in the combined event, but he struggled towards the end.
“It was great that Joe (Choong) came here, got through the whole process and qualified from the semi-finals,” added Bartu. “He needs more riding experience and more competitive experience at this level.
“These young kids are going through a learning phase that will serve them massively for the competitions which are coming up.”
Evans was the best of the Brits in the fencing hall, winning 15 of his 35 bouts for 190 pentathlon points and joint 23rd place.
Choong won 14 contests, worth 184 points and joint 27th, while Woodbridge’s 10 wins earned 160 points and he started the day in joint 35th. Russia’s Aleksander Lesun led.
Woodbridge and Evans dominated the swimming as all three British pentathletes climbed up the leaderboard. Woodbridge produced the fastest 200m freestyle time of the day with 1:58.54, which added 345 points to his total and saw him climb to 27th overall.
Evans was just five-hundredths of a second behind Woodbridge with a time of 1:58.59. That was also worth 345 points, promoting him to 11th overall.
Choong’s 2:02.08 was the seventh fastest time of the day, earning 334 points and moving him up to 20th. Lesun continued to lead.
Woodbridge was the only one of the 36 riders to achieve a flawless ride. He cleared all of the jumps on the showjumping course without accumulating any time penalties to take the maximum 300 points from the ride.
That took his points total to 805, putting him in 15th place. That was one place below team-mate Evans, who dropped 28 points from the maximum in the riding arena to take his total to 807 points.
There was disappointment for young Choong though – he was one of two pentathletes eliminated from the ride and with no points from that discipline, he found himself 36th.  Russia’s Egor Puchkarevskiy, who went to the ride in third place, was also eliminated riding the same horse as Choong.
Russia’s Lesun continued to lead and went into the run/shoot with a 60-second advantage over team-mate Ilia Frolov. Evans started the run/shoot 99 seconds behind Lesun, with Woodbridge another two seconds back.
Evans’ run/shoot time of 11:13.18 was the 10th fastest and saw him climb a place to finish 13th. Woodbridge was also holding his own until towards the end of the run/shoot, which he completed at a jog to record a time of 12:03.60 for 29th place, while Choong’s 12:47.03 saw him finish 36th.
World number one Lesun, who had led all day long, coasted to gold, with Hungary taking the team title. With Jamie Cooke not qualifying for the final, Britain were never in contention for the team medals and finished ninth.
Evans returns to action tomorrow (Sunday) partnering Samantha Murray in the mixed relay.
The 2014 World Championships take place in Warsaw, Poland at the beginning of September.
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.