Toolis targets more Modern Pentathlon medals
07:00 01 September 2014
Former Coopers pupil to compete in World Championships
Hornchurch’s Tom Toolis heads off to Poland today, hoping to take another step towards the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Former Coopers Coborn pupil Toolis, 21, will compete for Great Britain at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Warsaw, having won bronze in the men’s relay at the European Championships in Hungary last month.
And Toolis is looking to add another medal to his collection, to keep his name firmly in the frame for the big one.
He said: “There’s lots of excitement, I wouldn’t say I’m nervous at all, I’m raring to go.
“The relay is always exciting. After winning bronze at the Europeans I’m quite happy to do the relay again. Hopefully we can get a medal at the Worlds too.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it. Next year is when people start earning their Olympic spots. This is a good wind-up year before then.
“If you can earn certain places at Europeans, Worlds and World Cups, you can get an automatic slot in the Olympics.”
Toolis was partnered by Sam Curry at the Europeans, but is joined by Jamie Cooke for Tuesday’s event.
And he believes the GB pair have enough in their locker to make it onto the podium in Poland.
He added: “The swimming has a normal takeover, where you swim 2x100m freestyle, and for the riding you do nine jumps each and there is a box in the corner of the course, which you can’t leave until your team-mate has come into it.
“For the combined event you run and shoot twice, then tag your partner, but the fencing is a bit different. You go around together fencing the other athletes, depending on whether you’re the number one or two.
“The fencing will be make or break. If we do well in that, like we did at the Euros, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t win a medal.
“Our swim, ride and combined events are solid but anything can happen in the fence. Hopefully we’ll be in check and get enough hits.”
The 10-strong GB squad spent two weeks training at altitude at Font Romeu in the French Pyrenees before returning to the University of Bath to finalise preparations.
And Toolis will have support in the stands as he bids for more success on the international stage.
He added: “We had a tough training camp, with lots of hard training, but the week before a championships is a taper week to decrease the load and make sure it’s not as difficult.
“It’s about not tiring ourselves out. We want to hit race pace and switch on at the right time.
“I don’t get back to Hornchurch that often but I saw my family after the training camp and my dad is flying out to watch me compete.
“It’s been nice to be back in Bath. I fly out on Monday and compete on Tuesday and want another medal.”
The British athletes will begin their journey to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in December with the first of three national ranking competitions at the University of Bath.
The rankings will help determine selections for major competitions on the 2015 international calendar, when the first qualification places are up for grabs.
They include the 2015 European Championships at the University of Bath from August 17-23, when the top eight men and women will achieve the Olympic qualifying standard for Rio.