TUDOR Grange Leisure Centre and Solihull Riding Club will host the GB Open Pentathlon Championships later this month with the town’s own teenage rising modern pentathlon star Kelton Aldridge competing.
Organised by Pentathlon GB, the championships will feature some of the country’s most talented athletes, including Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray, and former world champion Mhairi Spence.
The competition doubles as the British Championships, meaning that the highest placed British finishers in both the men’s and women’s competitions will earn places in the Pentathlon GB team for the European Championships in Hungary next month.
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB performance director, said: The GB Open is part of the selection process for the European Championships for the second consecutive year, making it an important competition for the British athletes.
“We also have some competitors from overseas this year and we want to see the competition grow as an international event in future years.”
The Olympic sport of modern pentathlon sees athletes compete in fencing, swimming, show jumping and a run/shoot using laser pistols, in one day.
An agreement between Parkwood Leisure and British Pentathlon means Tudor Grange hosts four national events throughout the year.
Last year’s senior title winner, Samantha Murray, and Mhairi Spence will be joined in the women’s competition by Kate French, currently the highest British woman in the world rankings at 14.
The trio that won team gold at last month’s World Junior Championships will also feature – Jo Muir, currently number one in the world junior rankings, Francesca Summers and Alice Fitton.
There is a high class field in the men’s competition, reflecting Britain’s strength in the sport. Jamie Cooke, Britain’s 2011 world junior champion competes alongside Joe Choong, who won the junior and overall titles in 2013, and Joe Evans who won bronze on his senior World Cup debut in the USA last year.
Britain is one of the must successful countries in the sport, with British athletes winning medals at each of the last four Olympic Games.
The action will start at the leisure centre on Sunday, June 29 at 8am with athletes taking part in the 200m freestyle swim and will conclude by 6pm.
For more information about Pentathlon GB, head to www.pentathlongb.org. You can also like Pentathlon GB on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PentathlonGB or follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PentathlonGB.
There Is no charge, people can come along and watch, although in some areas spectator space will be quite limited.