Tom thrilled with GB call
- Credit: Mirko Seifert
Essex boy talks about preparation for European Championships taking place in August
Former Coopers Coborn pupil Tom Toolis is delighted to be selected to represent Great Britain at the Modern Pentathlon European Championships next month.
The event, which will take place from August 18-23 at the University of Bath’s Sports Training Village, will be a key competition for the GB athletes aiming to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Although Toolis has earned a place in the eight-strong squad, he wasn’t always so sure he would be selected.
“I am really pleased to have been picked for the Championships,” said Toolis.
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“This year has been really good, but down to my not so great performance at the World Championships I was a bit concerned about my place.
“There were five people in my gender category going for four sports and it could have been me that missed out, but thankfully I have been chosen to represent GB.”
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The squad have since flown out to Font Romeu, France to prepare themselves for next month’s competition and Toolis believes it will be key preparation for the team.
Great Britain’s squad trained in France before the World Cup Final event in Belarus last month and it proved to be a worthwhile exercise.
Toolis, in particular, was in good form in the competition and finished in 22nd place – the highest-placed Brit.
He will hope more training in France will inspire another successful display in Bath next month.
“We will be in Font Romeu for two or three weeks,” added Toolis. “It was worthwhile before when we went there before the World Cup Finals.
“All the physical events we took part in during that competition improved after our training in France.
“The French, German and Hungarian teams are all going to be out in Font Romeu when we are out there, so that will be good. It’s an opportunity to see their tactics and what they have been doing.”
Toolis hopes Great Britain can improve their fencing over the next few weeks.
He struggled in that element during his World Cup display in June, but was pleased with how he did in his other events.
“Fencing is our weakest event, so going to this training camp will help us improve that hopefully,” added Toolis.
“In the World Cup I finished 22nd and again I wasn’t brilliant in the fencing.
“All my other events went well and it was a season best in the swimming for me – the competition was very good.”
Toolis and Great Britain were not at their best at the recent World Championships, though, with the former Coopers pupil failing to qualify for the individual finals. But he was afforded another opportunity to shine in the mixed relay with Kate French and finished 13th.
He added: “It was a really good competition and it was a second chance for me.
“I feel I proved myself and it was probably key to getting me selected because there was a strong group of five and I think my performance in the mixed relay got me in.”
Toolis will now hope to make the most of that second chance next month.