Young British quartet to make modern pentathlon World Cup debuts in California
Four young Bath-based modern pentathletes will set off on the road to Rio 2016 by making their World Cup debuts for Great Britain in California this week.
Eighteen-year-old Jo Muir is joined in the eight-strong team by 19-year-olds Sam Curry and Joe Evans, plus 20-year-old Tom Toolis.
Beijing Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell is also participating in the first World Cup event of the year, which starts at Palm Springs on Wednesday and runs until Sunday.
Kate French, Katy Burke and 2011 World Junior champion Jamie Cooke complete the line-up.
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Pentathlon GB performance director Jan Bartu said the competition will give the young athletes, who are all products of Pentathlon GB’s World Class Talent Pathway, an early opportunity to show their mettle on the world stage.
“It is in line with our Rio plan, where we wanted to bring new talent on to the world-class stage early in the Olympic cycle and see what they can do,” he said.
“It doesn’t mean that we’re not going to consider the more established athletes in future.”
Muir, originally from Dumfries, in Scotland, said: “I’m really excited – I thought I’d heard it wrong when I was told.
“I didn’t ever think I’d get to a World Cup this year. My aim was to get to the Junior Europeans and the Junior Worlds.
“It will be a really good experience for me. The training in Bath has helped me so much.”
Fellow sports performance student Evans said the young group had travelled to America with the pressure off them.
“I was very pleased when I heard I’d been selected,” he added. “This will be my first World Cup and my first senior international.
“I’m a second year junior, so there’s no pressure. We’re going there for the experience. If I can make the final it would be fantastic, a massive achievement.”
Curry, a first-year student studying politics with international relations, said he is aiming to match his personal bests.
“It’s going to be an incredibly tough competition but I’m really looking forward to it,” he added. “It’s going to be an amazing experience.”
Toolis, who is studying sport and exercise science, hopes to make an impression and reach the finals on his debut.
“It’s my first senior World Cup, so I’m very excited about going to Palm Springs, making a name for myself and seeing where I am in comparison to the rest world,” he said.
“I aim to reach the finals and I know if my competition goes well then I have the ability to achieve this.”
London 2012 silver medalist Samantha Murray is not competing in the World Cup but flew out to Rome on Tuesday to train with the Italian national team.