British teenager Joe Evans completed a near-perfect modern pentathlon World Cup debut at the opening round of the season after claiming bronze in California.
Evans, one of four British men selected for the Palm Springs World Cup, three of which including himself were making their bow on the tour, qualified for the final in tenth place in his group.
And the 19-year-old went from strength to strength in the final to claim bronze at the first attempt – eight seconds behind Russian world champion Aleksander Lesun.
Evans was also only two seconds off Adam Marosi, who claimed Olympic bronze at London 2012 last summer, while British teammates Jamie Cooke and Sam Curry were 18th and 23rd respectively.
“The result is absolutely amazing, I’m not sure how it happened, but I’m so pleased,” said Evans. “I knew I was in third on the last lap of combined event and I just kept running.
“I didn’t even look behind to see where [Ilia] Frolov was. I had an excellent shoot as well, I only missed four shots.
“I had a good result in the fencing and it was good to turn around the result I’d had in the semi, I was pleased with the swim but there’s more to come yet.
“The ride and the combined event just seemed to happen and I’m so pleased with the overall result. Now I’m going to do more hard training in Bath and I’ll wait and see if I get selected for the Rio World Cup.”
Evans won 20 of his 35 fencing bouts to place joint eighth before a time of 2:01.69 minutes in the 200m freestyle swimming leg, the fifth fastest time, saw him move up to equal sixth.
Evans then dropped just 40 points from the maximum 1200 in the riding phase, an effort that actually put him into silver medal position, ahead of the combined run/shoot.
He was only five seconds behind Amro El Geziry of Egypt at that stage and, despite Lesun and Marosi overtaking him, Evans held on for bronze on his World Cup debut.
He clocked 11:35.64 for his combined run/shoot to finish comfortably in third place, ten seconds clear of Russian and world No.2 Ilia Frolov, who was fourth.
Britain’s women will be looking to follow in Evans’ footsteps next up in Palm Springs with all four on the team – Heather Fell, Katy Burke, Kate French and Jo Muir – qualifying for the final.
© Sportsbeat 2013