Top-20 finishes for young pair of Choong and Cooke

6th September 2014

Britain’s young pentathletes produced solid performances but couldn’t add to the team’s medal haul at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Poland today (Saturday).
Nineteen-year-old Joe Choong, competing at only his second senior international event, was the highest placed British finisher in 16th in today’s final in Warsaw. 
And 23-year-old Jamie Cooke, Britain’s 2011 world junior champion, came home in 20th.
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB Performance Director, said: "It was a good day for us. It's a big championships and a lot of good things happened for us today, especially when you consider that Jamie (Cooke) is the oldest guy in the men's team and he is only 23.
"Joe (Choong) is clearly very talented and he is coming through very quickly. A top-16 finish at a World Championships is a really significant result for him," he added. "His skills are really good and he needs more experience and competition exposure to maximise his potential.
"Jamie expected a little more today. He had to run flat out in the semis to qualify for the final today and there wasn't enough left. There is still a long way to go till the Games and he now has his winter preparation coming up."
Cooke started the better, winning 15 of his 35 fencing bouts to earn 190 pentathlon points for joint 25th. Choong’s 14 victories gave him 184 points, putting him joint 27th. Russia’s Aleksander Lesun won the fence with 27 victories worth 262 points.
Both of the British athletes produced strong swims to climb up the leaderboard. The quickest time of the day went to Egypt’s Amro El Geziry with 1:52.31, which was worth 364 points and saw him take the overall lead.
Cooke was a close second in the swim. His 200m freestyle time of 1:52.95 gave him 362 points pushing him into 10th place overall. And Choong recorded the third fastest swim time of the day. His 1:54.56 added 357 points to his score, propelling him to 16th overall.
Choong rode a beautifully composed round to go clear within the allowed time to add the maximum 300 points to his total. He went to the combined event in 11th place, starting 79 seconds behind Amro El Geziry, who continued to lead. 
Cooke had an early fence down and followed that up by dislodging the penultimate fence. Each error cost him seven points and he also accumulated six time penalties, so he came away from the ride with 280 points. He went into the run/shoot in 17th, 88 seconds behind the leader. 
Choong’s combined event time of 11:11.83 was the 17th fastest and saw him end the day in 16th overall. Cooke’s 11:19.41 was 19th fastest and put him 20th overall.
It was world number one Lesun who went on to win gold, comfortably easing part Amro El Geziry, who hung on for silver.
Team gold went to Hungary. The British team weren’t going to be in the mix for the team medals today as Cooke was the only nominated team scorer to reach the final. Britain finished 12th overall in the men’s team competition.
Tomorrow (Sunday) sees Joe Evans and Kate French represent Great Britain in the final competition of the 2014 World Championships, the mixed relay.
So far the British team have won two medals, with Samantha Murray taking individual gold yesterday and partnering Kate French and Freyja Prentice to silver in the women’s team competition. 
Men’s individual results
Gold: Aleksander Lesun (RUS) – 1534 points
Silver: Amro El Geziry (EGY) – 1520 points
Bronze:  Jan Kuf (CZE) – 1513 points
16th: Joe Choong (GBR) – 1470 points
20th: Jamie Cooke (GBR) – 1453 points
Men’s team results
Gold: Hungary (Robert Kasza, Bence Demeter & Adam Marosi) – 4462 points
Silver: France (Valentin Belaud, Valentin Prades & Christopher Patte) – 4372 points
Bronze: China (Jianli Guo, Jiahao Han & Haihang Su) - 4346 points
12th: Great Britain (Jamie Cooke, Sam Curry & Joe Evans) – 3729 points
Pentathlon GB team for World Championships
Women’s individual
(* scores count towards team event)
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
Men’s individual
(* scores count towards team event)
Joe Choong – 23.05.95, Orpington - Bath
Jamie Cooke * - 03.03.91, Cheltenham – Bath
Sam Curry * - 03.09.93, Salfords, Surrey - Bath
Joe Evans * - 05.09.93,  Whitchurch, Shropshire – Bath
Women’s relay
Alice Fitton  - 05.08.94 from Atherton, Greater Manchester - lives Bath
Samantha Murray – 25.09.89, Clitheroe, Lancashire – Bath
Men’s relay
Jamie Cooke - 03.03.91, Cheltenham – Bath
Tom Toolis – 23.12.92, Hornchurch, North East London - Bath
Mixed relay (tbc)
Joe Evans - 05.09.93, Whitchurch, Shropshire – Bath
Kate French – 11.02.91, from: Meopham, Gravesend – lives: Bath
World Championships schedule
Monday 1 September: women’s relay
Tuesday 2 September: men’s relay
Wednesday 3 September: women’s semi-finals
Thursday 4 September: men’s semi-finals
Friday 5 September: women’s final (including team event)
Saturday 6 September: men’s final (including team event)
Sunday 7 September: mixed relay