Joe Evans won a bronze medal at his first modern pentathlon World Cup competition in Palms Springs, California last week.
The day got off to a good start for the 19-year-old from North Shropshire when he won 20 of his 35 fencing bouts for joint eighth place.
A positive 200m swim saw him pull himself up to joint sixth, and then he had just one fence down in the showjumping, when clipping a jump stand with his foot. Only Ireland’s Eanna Bailey managed a clear round inside the time for the maximum 1200 riding points.
This left Joe in second place going into the final event, the combined run/shoot. He couldn’t quite hold on to the silver medal, but finished in third on his World Cup debut, 10sec ahead of Russia’s world number two, Ilia Frolov.
A delighted Joe said: “It was absolutely amazing. I’m not sure how it happened, but I’m so pleased.”
His team-mates Jamie Cooke and Sam Curry finished 18th and 23rd respectively. Nineteen-year-old Sam was also contesting his first modern pentathlon World Cup.
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB’s performance director, praised the British team. “The whole team performed above expectations… Hopefully this isn’t the last success these boys have,” said Jan.
Joe studies sport performance at the University of Bath, where the Pentathlon GB high performance centre is based. He trains with Whitchurch Wasps for swimming, and has lessons with BHS instructor and eventer Sarah Warner to keep his riding at a high standard.
Joe already has his sights set on the next year’s World Cup. “Now I’m going to do more hard training in Bath and I’ll wait to see if I get selected for the next World Cup in Rio,” he explains.
Modern pentathlon is a sports competition that consists of five events: fencing, swimming, showjumping, running and pistol shooting. Running and shooting can sometimes be combined and is known as the “run-and-shoot”. Competitors ride randomly selected horses and have just 20mins and three practise jumps before going into the arena. This Olympic event used to take place over five days, but it is now a one-day event.