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Tokyo Olympics: Team GB's Joe Choong wins gold in the modern pentathlon at Tokyo 2020


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Joe Choong has become the first British male to win an Olympic gold medal in modern pentathlon.

Choong, from Orpington, recorded a personal best total of 1,482 points to claim gold at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.

Joe Choong wins gold at modern penatathlon in Tokyo Olympics. Picture: UPIM Media (50002907)
Joe Choong wins gold at modern penatathlon in Tokyo Olympics. Picture: UPIM Media (50002907)

His success came just 24 hours after Meopham's Kate French won gold in the female event.

It's the first time any country has secured modern pentathlon medals in both the men's and women's event in the same Games.

Choong led the field from the fencing ranking round and then kept rivals at bay through the swim, bonus fencing round and ride, meaning he started the laser run with a 12-second advantage.

Out of the shooting range and into the final 800m, he was stride for stride with Egypt's Ahmed Elgendy but finally sprung away in the last 200m, crossing the line five seconds ahead.

Great Britain had won two golds, two silvers and two bronzes in this sport since Sydney 2000 - all of which were delivered by the women's team.

And that put the pressure on world number one Choong to become the first man to win a modern pentathlon Olympic medal since Jim Fox, Danny Nightingale and Adrian Parker won team gold in 1976.

Choong said: "I'm in shock. I was thinking down the last straight that he (Elgendy) wasn't going to catch me and I was there swearing in my head.

"There were a couple of heavy jumps on the ride but, compared to a lot of the boys out there, I could be pleased with that.

"The swim was good, fencing was good. The run was quite tactical, I saved myself for the last two laps as people were closing.

Joe Choong wins gold at modern penatathlon in Tokyo Olympics. Picture: UPIM Media (50002910)
Joe Choong wins gold at modern penatathlon in Tokyo Olympics. Picture: UPIM Media (50002910)

"Shooting was a bit sketchy again, I thought I was going to lose it after taking eight shots on the first shoot. But I've nailed it.

"I've been thinking of the moment ever since I can remember. I was five when watching Sydney, then Kelly Holmes in Athens. I've always said I've wanted to be the best in the world at something. This is a dream come true.

"Kate and I always seem to match each other's results so I was feeling the pressure to keep up with her."

Choong was taught how to swim (one of the five pentathlon events) by former Team GB and Commonwealth Games international swimmer Angela Wilson at her swim school based in Dartford.

More to follow.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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