Joe Evans wins bronze medal on Modern Pentathlon World Cup debut in California
Nineteen-year-old Joe Evans produced a stunning performance to win bronze at his first Modern Pentathlon World Cup.
Evans, a sports performance student at the University of Bath and a product of Pentathlon GB’s World Class Talent Pathway, performed consistently throughout the day at the opening World Cup of the new Olympic cycle.
He crossed the finishing line at Palm Springs in California just eight seconds behind world champion Alexander Lesun of Russia and two seconds off Adam Marosi, Hungary’s Olympic bronze medallist.
British team-mate Jamie Cooke came home 18th and 19-year-old Sam Curry was 23rd on his World Cup debut.
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Evans started the day well, winning 20 of his 35 fencing bouts for joint eighth place with 880 pentathlon points. Curry won 19 contests for joint 12th with 856 points, while Cooke - Britain’s 2011 world junior champion - scored 13 wins for 712 points, putting him 32nd.
Cooke produced a typically strong 200m freestyle swim to climb five places up the leaderboard, his time of 2mins 1sec being the third fastest of the day and worth 1,348 points.
His time was only slightly faster than Evans, whose 2:01.69 was fifth fastest and added 1,340 pentathlon points to his total. That saw him climb up to joint sixth on the leaderboard.
Curry’s 2:07.47 was the 18th fastest time of the day, worth 1,272 points and putting him 15th going into the equestrian section.
Evans kept up his challenge in the riding arena. On a day when only one rider, Ireland’s Eanna Bailey, went clear in the allowed time, Evans dropped just 40 points from the maximum 1,200.
That was enough to ensure he went into the combined run/shoot in second place, five seconds behind leader Amro El Geziry of Egypt.
Curry dropped 46 from the maximum to put him sixth overall, with Cooke adding 1,096 to his total to go into the run/shoot in 25th.
Evans rounded off a fantastic day with a run/shoot time of 11:35.64 to claim the bronze medal at his first World Cup.
His time was 22nd fastest of the day, earning 2,420 points, but it was enough to ensure he finished ten seconds clear of Russia’s world number two Ilia Frolov, who came home fourth.
Cooke climbed up the field to 18th courtesy of a combined event time of 11:23.42, worth 2,468 points. Curry’s 12:16.05, worth 2,256, was 33rd fastest and saw him finish 23rd overall.
Four GB women are currently contesting the women’s final, with Katy Burke, Heather Fell, Kate French and Jo Muir all having qualified from Thursday’s heats.
The British team train at the Pentathlon GB High Performance Centre at the University of Bath.