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Top 10 spot for Toolis at Modern Pentathlon World Championships

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 May 2016

Tom Toolis lines up a shot (pic: claregreenphotography.com)

Tom Toolis lines up a shot (pic: claregreenphotography.com)

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Former Coopers pupil impresses in relay event in Russia

Tom Toolis and Joe Evans finished ninth in the men’s relay at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Russia as South Korea’s Woojin Hwang and Woongtae Jun took gold in Moscow.

The Great Britain duo started off strongly in the pool, but saw their hopes fade slightly in the fencing and riding elements, before concluding with a strong combined event to secure a top 10 finish.

Former Coopers Coborn pupil Toolis and Evans showed why the swim is their favoured discipline with a scintillating 200m time of 1:49.62, the quickest of the event.

And the athletes then moved into the fencing salle where a good start from the Brits saw them have eight victories and eight defeats at the halfway stage.

A slightly disappointing second period meant they didn’t follow through on the early promise and finished the ranking round in 13th, with 14 victories and 18 defeats, moving them down to sixth in the overall standings.

And Pentathlon GB performance director Jan Bartu explained that the afternoon’s ride was key to the eventual outcome.

He said: “There was carnage for a number of teams as the organisers used new horses. It was obvious that the better horses were saved for the women’s relay and this meant that there was a lot of luck with the draw.

“The boys had a good opportunity to gain an advantage, but unfortunately they knocked down four poles when they could have got away with just one. This didn’t put them in a good enough position ahead of the combined event.”

With three time penalties too, the boys picked up 269 points in the ride which meant they slipped back to 11th with an 81-second handicap to leaders South Korea ahead of the combined event.

The field were very tightly packed behind the leaders, though, with the Brits just 21 seconds behind fourth-placed Belarus.

A thrilling combined event ensued, with nine countries battling for position behind South Korea and hosts Russia, including Toolis and Evans.

And the Brits eventually finished ninth after a battling combined event time of 10:47.95, as the French pair moved up from seventh to third in the final discipline to snatch bronze.

Toolis will be competing again in the men’s individual qualification event alongside Jamie Cooke, Joe Choong and Sam Curry tomorrow (Thursday).

The women take centre stage on Wednesday as Kate French and Freyja Prentice join up with Samantha Murray and Jo Muir, who won silver in their relay event, in search of a place in Friday’s final.

Bartu added: “It’s another day of the competition done for us. We now look forward to tomorrow. It’s a very important competition for everyone.”

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