Cooke clinches Tokyo quota spot with European title

Cooke clinches Tokyo quota spot with European title

10 August 2019 / 20:09
Reigning world champion Jamie Cooke hailed a ‘perfect day’ as he sealed an Olympic quota spot for Team GB with European Championships gold in Bath.

Cooke stormed into an early lead at the University of Bath Sports Village, finishing second and first in the fencing and swimming respectively.

The 28-year-old from Salisbury held off the rest of the field in the riding and laser-run stages, revelling in a dominant performance that books another place in Tokyo. 

“It’s been pretty much a perfect day for me. The world is slightly upside down with my scoresheet today but I’m really, really pleased with it,” said Cooke.

“The fencing for me was a bit of highlight – everything came together on the day and I kind of couldn’t lose a hit, it was almost comical at one point.

“I made it slightly difficult for myself on the second shoot but I ran well so I’m really pleased.

“It’s amazing to win at home in Bath, the volunteers and everyone have been incredible.”

The 2018 world champion sealed a second modern pentathlon men's quota place for Team GB after Joe Choong did likewise by winning the International Modern Pentathlon Union World Cup final in Japan.

Cooke and Choong set the two fastest times in the London 2012 Legacy Pool, clocking 1:58.27 and 2:00.51 respectively but the latter could only muster a fourth-placed finish.

An overall total of 1477 was enough to see off the challenge of Frenchman and defending champion Valentin Prades (1464) and third-placed Czech Martin Vlach (1460).

And there was double cause for celebration for Cooke as he also won team gold alongside fellow Brits Choong and Tom Toolis, who came 15th.

The women’s final takes place on Sunday with last year’s silver medallist Kate French vying to bag another qualification berth for Team GB.