Olivia’s on top of the world

LYDGATE’S Olivia Green has become a modern pentathlon world champion, the biggest success of her career to date.

The 22-year-old was a member of the Great Britain team which won gold at the world championships which were held in Egypt.

And Olivia was the leading Brit in the individual women’s competition finishing in fifth place while her boyfriend Joe Choong, the Olympic champion, won world individual gold.

It was the final event of the season and brought down the curtain on a hugely successful campaign which has enhanced her prospects of being selected for the Paris Olympic Games.

Team gold medallist Olivia Green, pictured right

Proud dad Chris said: “It has been a busy year for Olivia, one which she done better and better as it has gone on.

“This was without doubt Olivia’s biggest competition and best-ever result as she took some good scalps and performed consistently as the top Brit.

“She has been competing in World Cup events all year and in the recent World Cup final in Turkey finished ninth.”

Chris added the world championships are the biggest competition of the year and arguably harder than the Olympics.

He explained: “In the Olympics, countries are only allowed to send two athletes whereas in the world championships it is an open entry.

“Countries like Hungary, Italy and the UK have three or four really strong competitors, and they can send them all.”

Olivia was in a field of 72, including many Olympians, which entered the preliminary round which was cut down to 36 for the semi-final and 18 for the final.”

She started the final in eighth place and at one stage climbed to third before dropping back after the shooting.”

And Olivia’s eventual fifth place helped Great Britain to team gold alongside Jess Varley (7th) and Charlie Follett (10th).

Chris added while the result enhanced Olivia’s hopes of being selected for the Olympics, Paris is still well ahead on the horizon.

“Great Britain has a strong squad and effectively there are seven or eight competitors battling for two places so selection will be tough,” he said.

There has been another bonus after finishing in the top eight in the world championship which increases her level of funding as an elite athlete.

Olivia has had further reason to celebrate after graduating from Bath University with a four-year degree in sport and exercise science.

Chris added Olivia was the only top woman modern pentathlete studying while also training and competing.

“It was a big distraction but, now Olivia has graduated, hopefully she can focus 100 per cent on her sport.”

Olivia and Joe are having a well-earned break and travelling to Canada for a wedding and on to Australia and Malaysia to visit Joe’s relatives.

• Olivia and Joe, along with most other athletes, remain vehemently opposed to the proposed axing of showjumping as one of the sport’s five disciplines.

It has been proposed that showjumping is replaced by an obstacle course for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles with Olivia, among many others, declaring they would quit the sport if the change is imposed.

Athletes are furious they have not been consulted and describe 110 years of modern pentathlon as being “undermined”.

Olivia, crowned European Under-24 champion last year, has previously said: “It has been a nightmare and all the pentathletes are fighting it.

“The UIPM (sport’s governing body) has made a decision to drop showjumping, and none of the athletes are happy about it.”

There were concerns raised about horse welfare culminating in well-publicised issues at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The roots of modern pentathlon can be traced to the ancient pentathlon, which included discus throw, javelin, long jump, the stadium-length race and wrestling. The ancient pentathlon was incorporated into the ancient Olympic Games in 708 B.C.

Pierre de Coubertin wished to include a combined sport into the programme of the modern Olympic Games and promote athletes who combine strength, technique and a strong personality. Inspired by the ancient pentathlon, he created the modern pentathlon.

The men’s modern pentathlon was included in the Olympic competition schedule back at Stockholm 1912, while the women’s category was added for the first time at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *