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Team GB Take Bronze In Modern Pentathlon Mixed Relay On European Games Day Nine

Team GB's Sam Curry and Jess Varley

Team GB’s Sam Curry and Jess Varley showcased their prowess in a thrilling modern pentathlon mixed relay, securing a well-deserved bronze medal at the Krakow 2023 European Games.

In their debut appearance for Team GB, Curry and Varley exhibited remarkable performances that elevated them to the podium, finishing behind the gold medalists from Czechia and the silver medalists from Hungary.

The day kicked off with the fencing ranking round, where Curry and Varley started in tenth position. However, their exceptional show-jumping skills propelled them into third place.

Despite facing stiff competition in the fencing bonus round and the swim, the duo commenced the laser run in sixth place.

With an impressive display of composure and determination, Varley made her way back up the field, ultimately leading the pack as she embarked on her final lap.

The baton was then passed to Curry, who showcased his powerful running abilities. Although the Czech and Hungarian athletes pulled ahead, Curry held off the charging Bugra Unal from Turkey, ensuring a nail-biting finish and securing the bronze medal in a thrilling dash down the home straight.

Reflecting on their achievement, Curry expressed his excitement, stating, “The exciting thing about pentathlon is that you can look at the names on the start list, and out of 14, there’s up to ten that can challenge for a medal.

We tried to keep consistent throughout, and we’re both thrilled with it.” Varley shared her experience, saying, “It’s all about just trying to free the mind basically and try and just focus on the things you can control.

Then when I started the final lap, it was just like ‘Let’s hit the burners and see what happens.’ It was really hot, and I started to lose a bit of vision. I wanted to do something cool when I crossed the line, but I just collapsed into Jess!”

In the badminton competition, Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith comfortably secured their place in the next round with a resounding victory in the Mixed Doubles, marking their third consecutive win in the group stages.

Meanwhile, Kirsty Gilmour, who had already progressed to the Women’s Singles last 16 without dropping a set, faced a challenging situation when she found herself a set down and trailing by five points against the resilient Vivien Sandorhazi from Hungary.

However, displaying incredible resilience, Gilmour orchestrated a remarkable comeback, sealing the match point and securing her spot in the quarter-finals.

Gilmour shared her thoughts on the match, saying, “Yeah, crazy things always happen at European Games because the tensions are very high! I feel like I was good nervous this morning and last night – I would be more worried if I wasn’t nervous as I like that feeling.

Fair play to Vivien [Sandorhazi], she stuck in and just really sent it back, more than I was expecting actually, so I think this is a really good lesson for me to learn in the last sixteen, and it’s good to get that kind of lung buster before we get to the fun zone – and we’re in the fun zone now.”

In the Men’s Doubles category, both British pairings, Alexander Dunn and Adam Hall, as well as Ben Lane and Sean Vendy, advanced to the semi-finals with convincing 2-0 victories.

However, Julie MacPherson and Ciara Torrance faced a tough battle in the French Women’s Doubles quarter-finals, delivering stunning rallies but ultimately falling short with a 2-1 defeat.

In the canoe slalom program, Team GB showcased their talent as all six kayak athletes – Jonny Dickson, Joe Clarke, Chris Bowers, Kimberley Woods, Mallory Franklin, and Phoebe Spicer – progressed to the semi-finals scheduled for Saturday. Franklin expressed

her satisfaction with her position and highlighted her increased confidence. She acknowledged the added nerves at the start-line due to the grandeur of the European Games but emphasized the support and camaraderie within Team GB, which provided her with comfort and strength.

For a comprehensive roundup of all the thrilling action from Team GB at the European Games, fans can listen to interviews with gold medalists Abbie Brown and Meg Jones, co-captains of the women’s rugby sevens team, taekwondo fighters Jade Jones and Caden Cunningham, BMX rider Kieran Reilly, and many more.

Supporters can stay up to date with Team GB by signing up for updates and watch the live coverage of the European Games here.