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Toolis seeks home crowd help in race for Tokyo 2020 place

PUBLISHED: 15:30 03 August 2019

Tom Toolis (front, second from left) and the rest of the Great Britain Modern Pentathlon team ahead of the European Championships at Bath (pic Pentathlon GB)

Tom Toolis (front, second from left) and the rest of the Great Britain Modern Pentathlon team ahead of the European Championships at Bath (pic Pentathlon GB)

Archant

Former Coopers pupil Tom Toolis is hoping home advantage helps at the European Modern Pentathlon Championships in Bath next week.

Toolis, 26, is part of a 13-strong British line-up at the University of Bath, bidding to join teammate and World Cup Final winner Joe Choong at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

There are eight spots available in the men's event, with Toolis, Sam Curry and reigning world champion Jamie Cooke looking to benefit from local support.

Toolissaid: "The last time the Europeans were here in Bath, it was such a buzz to see and hear the large crowds getting behind you and I can't wait for that to happen again.

"I remember running in on the final stretch four years ago and hearing the crowd up on the balcony, it was like having an extra training partner giving me a boost."

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Choong, 23, has been in terrific form this season with two World Cup silvers and a stunning victory in Tokyo which saw him secure an Olympic qualification place.

Curry, 25, won mixed relay gold earlier this season, while Toolis has now been performing consistently on the international stage for many years

Competing for GB in the women's event are 2018 European silver medalist Kate French, a World Cup winner this season, Jess Varley, mixed relay gold medalist Jo Muir and Francesca Summers.

Zoe Davison and Charlie Follett compete in the women's relay, as Myles Pillage and Oliver Murray team up in the men's event and Pillage joins Kerenza Bryson in the mixed event.

Performance Director Jan Bartu said: "This competition brings the continent's top athletes to our home in Bath and it is also a great opportunity for the British athletes to compete in front of a home crowd and hopefully enjoy some success.

"We have experienced a very good year and we are now on 26 medals won by individuals and teams in 2019. That is unprecedented and I hope it is not over yet with both the European and World Championships still to come."

The relay races take place on Tuesday (mixed) and Wednesday (men's and women's), before individual qualifying is held on Thursday and Friday and the finals follow on the weekend of August 10-11.

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