Champion Choong bags Tokyo berth
Modern Pentathlon

Champion Choong bags Tokyo berth

29 June 2019 / 12:30

After hitting the heights in the Modern Pentathlon World Cup Final, it's safe to say Joe Choong will feel like tackling Tokyo all over again after his heroics secured an Olympic berth for Great Britain.

The 24-year-old topped the podium in Musashino Forest, pipping Germany’s Marvin Dogue by a single point and sealing an Olympic Games qualifying spot for his country.

A haul of 625 points in the laser run saw Choong seal his first senior gold medal and he undoubtedly looked the part as he shone in what was also a Tokyo 2020 dress rehearsal.

“In the early phase, I was just trying to stay in contention until the last lap, where I’ve backed myself all season and did it again here,” he said.

“My first shoot was good but the second and last put a bit of pressure on me.

“Thankfully, a few others didn’t manage to hold their nerve either, so it evened itself out and meant I was still up there going into the last 800m.

“From there, I knew what I had to do and to get over the line in first and claim my first senior gold medal, as well as an Olympic qualification spot – it is an absolutely amazing feeling.”

Choong opened up with 22 victories and 13 defeats from his 35 fencing bouts whilst he was second behind GB teammate Jamie Cooke in the swimming section, coming home in 1:58.14.

He felled two poles in the show jumping and then exited the shooting phase of the laser run in second behind Dogue.

But Choong successfully chased down his opponent over the final 800m loop to clinch his champagne moment, with Cooke and Tom Toolis 11th and 14th respectively.

Choong was the highest-placed British athlete at Rio 2016, finishing 13th.