Cooke has fencing to mend after European Modern Pentathlon Juniors
Saturday, 24 September 2011
September 24- There was disappointment for Britain's modern pentathlete Jamie Cooke in the individual final of the European Junior Championships in Poland as he finished 21st.
Cooke, an outstanding prospect who has twice broken modern pentathlon world records in the swim this season, struggled to recover from a below-par performance in the fencing element.
"He's had a great season in senior competitions as an underdog, but for the first time he came to a junior championships where he was the person to beat, and that changes things a bit," said Philipp Waeffler, GB men's head coach.
"Jamie's fencing was too weak for him to be a medal contender today.
"But I can't be too disappointed - he's made the final and had three decent events and only one that wasn't good enough."
Gold went to Bence Demeter of Hungary, who earned 5,900 points, with Geoffrey Megi of France taking silver with 5,892 and bronze being won by Megi's compatriot Valentin Prades, who scored 5,880.
Cooke went into the last discipline, the run/shoot, in 21st place.
His time of 10min 58.95sec was the 17th fastest, but did not improve on his overall position in a competition where the gap between 21st and 11th place was just 76 points or 19 seconds in an event won by Hungary's Bence Demeter ahead of French pair Geoffrey Megi and Valentin Prades.
Cooke had got off to an underwhelming start as he finished joint 31st in the fencing, winning just 13 of his 35 contests.
As expected, however, he was the quickest in the pool.
His time of 1:56.10 earned him 1,408 points and saw him climb to 14th overall.
He dropped 88 points from the maximum 1,200 in the ride.
With Cooke the only one of three nominated team members to reach the final, GB could only finish 11th in the men's team event.
It means the British team return home from the championships with a gold, silver and bronze.
Freyja Prentice won individual bronze and teamed up with Kate French and Lydia Rosling to win the relay gold and team silver.
July 2011: Cooke serves up record breaking performance to guarantee Britain spot at London 2012
July 2011: Cooke starts with a bigger splash at European Modern Pentathlon Championships
July 2011: Bronze for Woodbridge and world record for Cooke in Olympic test event