Izzy’s top 10 finish helps GB claim silver

Harpenden youngster impresses at World Biathle Championships

BIATHLE: SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD Izzy Thompson travelled to the Sofia last week where she claimed a top 10 finish at the World Biathle Championships.

Thompson, who swims for Harpenden Swimming Club and runs for Shaftesbury Barnet was competing in her third World Championships having qualified as the fifth member of the six-man team at the qualification event at Salford Quays in August. The Biathle is a subset of Modern Pentathlon comprising run-swim-run with transition in between each component.

The Championships were being staged at the Cherveno Zname Sports Complex and had over 270 competitors representing 16 countries. Thompson was part of the four-man team in the Youth A (Under 19) category. This was Thompson’s first year as a youth A and saw her step up from 1,000m run, 200m swim, 1,000m run to 1,500m run, 200m swim, 1,500m run. The Youth A girls’ race started in 26 degree heat.

The run started on poolside and saw the competitors head out of the pool complex into the car park where they disappeared from the sight of most of the crowd. As they re-entered the complex for their first transition it was the South Africans in first, followed by a French competitor.

Thompson entered transition in ninth close behind her team mate Emily Legg in eighth and swam wide on the first 50m of the swim cutting in at the turn bouy and stealing a place to put her in eighth, at the 100m turn there were six swimmers fighting for position and Thompson lost a couple of places.

The group of swimmers pretty much stayed together for the second 100m and entered transition together and as they set off for the second run Thompson was in a group contesting fifth to 10th places.

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The French girl put in a strong second run but tired and when the first athletes entered the complex it was a Cypriot first, crossing the line in a time of 14:24.439 closely followed by a South African (14:25.131) and the French competitor (14:25.588).

Britain’s first finisher was Legg (15:01.746) in sixth place with Thompson finishing in ninth place in 15:09.923. Britain’s other finishers were Harriet Rogers (11th 15:27) and Hanna Parkinson 12th (15:31).

This was Thompson’s best performance at the World Championships having previously finished 14th and 13th and it took over one minute off her qualifying time from Salford where she had recorded 16:19.