Toolis targets Tokyo Games as latest World Cup best raises Olympic expectations

PUBLISHED: 13:41 19 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:41 19 April 2019

Tom Toolis practices his shooting ahead of the Modern Pentathlon World Championships (pic Artur Lesniak)

Tom Toolis practices his shooting ahead of the Modern Pentathlon World Championships (pic Artur Lesniak)

Artur Lesniak

Romford’s Tom Toolis recorded another best-ever finish at the latest World Cup event in Bulgaria that he hopes will help him qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Former Coopers pupil Toolis finished sixth in Sofia, having claimed a first top-10 spot in the previous event in Egypt.

And attention now turns to the next event in Szekesfehervar, Hungary from May 1-5, with Toolis saying: “I was very excited to compete again after doing well in Cairo. My confidence was high and I was keen to continue to produce another high result.

“I think my well-executed skills helped me produce the result on the day. I'm one step closer to qualifying for the World Cup final and ultimately the Olympics, which is extremely exciting.

“I'm looking forward to seeing what I can achieve next this season.”

Toolis began the men's final in Bulgaria with a 200m swim of 2.05.04, then produced a masterful display in the fencing hall to claim 22 wins from his 34 bouts.

That left him in fifth place overall and a good performance in the ride, despite difficult conditions after torrential rain the day before, saw him move up the standings to fourth going into the laser-run.

And after a gripping 3,200m race Toolis came home in a career-best sixth, as GB team-mate Joe Choong won silver.

“The semi-final went as well as I could've hoped. I fenced incredibly well and carried that into the combined event, where I had a strong shoot and didn't have to run too hard to qualify,” he said.

“Going into the final I was looking to replicate by attitude and mentality of the semi and produce similar results.

“I didn't have the best of starts in the fence, but eventually found my rhythm which took me to the top of the field. I was confident of mine and my horse's ability to clear the course and only experienced some time penalties, as I felt the horse was fatigued from the previous rider.

“Before the combined event I had prepared a racing strategy which I maintained whilst experiencing competitors run past me at the beginning of the race.

“After keeping my cool in both the run and shoot I found I had enough energy and drive at the end of the race to finish in sixth position.”

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