Toolis misses out at Modern Pentathlon World Championships
PUBLISHED: 18:26 26 May 2016 | UPDATED: 18:26 26 May 2016
Tough day for former Coopers pupil
Hornchurch’s Tom Toolis missed out on a place in the men’s final of the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Russia.
But Great Britain team-mate Jamie Cooke continued his fine form by safely qualifying for the medal showdown in Moscow on Saturday.
Former Coopers pupil Toolis and Sam Curry were placed in group A, which meant they started with the fencing discipline.
Both scored some great hits, but in a highly competitive group eventually finished 18th and 19th with 14 victories and 17 defeats apiece.
The pair produced strong performances in the pool with Toolis clocking the fourth best time of 2:03.21, while Curry was 11th with 2.04.25.
Those results allwoed them to move up a single place in the overall standings ahead of the combined event, but despite their best efforts they came up shy of qualifying for the final with Curry finishing 21st and Toolis 28th.
GB Performance Director Jan Bartu said: “Neither Sam or Tom started well in the fencing. This was decisive for their competition as they couldn’t recover to qualify.”
Cooke, fresh from back-to-back success in the World Cup series and final, started with 19 wins and 12 defeats in his fencing to sit in sixth place and a sub-two minute swim (1:59.10) was the quickest in his group.
That left Cooke in second place overall going into the combined event and a controlled run and shoot saw him ease into the final.
Bartu added: “Jamie’s performance as to a very high standard, as we expected. There is still room for improvement ahead of the final, but we are confident he will show that.
“He needs to fight for the top positions again and gain the respect of the other competitors as this could be very important in the Olympics.”
Joe Choong had already achieved the Rio Olympic qualification standard by virtue of his seventh-place finish at the 2015 European Championships and began well with a great time of 1:59.76 in the swim.
But Choong had just 14 fencing wins and started the combined event in 15th place and, despite moving up one place, he missed out on the final.
“Joe had a disappointing second half of the fencing and couldn’t bounce back from that,” said Bartu.
“It put him in the middle of the group fighting for the final qualification places and other people were stronger than him today.
“However, I believe this will be an excellent learning curve for Joe. He hasn’t been in this position before and he now recognises how difficult it is to become a top athlete in this sport despite his indisputable talent.”
Bartu added: “Today was a really tough day. It is one of the hardest semi-finals I have ever seen. We’re just a few weeks from the Games and everyone is fighting, on form and going flat out. As a result it was a real test for the boys today.”