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Team GB win Britain’s first-ever gold in men’s modern pentathlon

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Great Britain’s Joe Choong has won the men’s modern pentathlon at Tokyo Stadium.

The 26-year-old was in joint first after Thursday’s fencing and finished third in the 200 metres freestyle swim for a points total of 571.

It is the first-ever Olympic medal for Britain’s men in modern pentathlon.

His medal is the second for Team GB in the modern pentathlon at Tokyo 2020, after Kate French won the women’s title on Friday night.

Heading into the final 800 metres lap, Choong looked like he might be overtaken by Egypt’s Ahmed ElGendy, but he had something in reserve and he sprinted across the finish line.

Joe Choong of Great Britain during the Modern Pentathlon,
Image: Joe Choong of Great Britain during the Modern Pentathlon

Team GB tweeted: “Choong also becomes the first British male to win an individual Olympic medal in the modern pentathlon.”

Choong said he “felt the pressure” to get one for the boys after her triumphant win.

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Speaking after his victory, he told the BBC: “I’m in shock. I was swearing in my head.

“There were a couple of heavy jumps on the ride, the swim was good, the fencing was good and the running was pretty tactical. The shooting was pretty sketchy but I pulled myself together.”

Asked how it felt watching French winning the gold medal, he described Friday as an “absolute rollercoaster” and called her a “legend”.

He said it was a “dream come true”, adding: “I couldn’t let Kate have all the limelight. I felt the pressure to keep up with her and get one for the boys.”

In a tweet, Team GB wrote: “Golden double.”

Team GB is currently fourth in the medals table, behind China, the US and Japan.

Choong, from Kent, rates fencing and swimming as his two strongest disciplines.

He topped the table from Thursday’s fencing with 25 victories and 10 defeats.

Choong then finished third in the 200 metres freestyle swim just behind team-mate Jamie Cooke, who was back in 16th after the fencing, before adding another two points in the fencing bonus round.

It left him 19 points ahead of South Korea’s Jung Jin-hwa heading into the show jumping.

French, 30, also from Kent, became Britain’s second Olympic champion in the event, following Stephanie Cook, who was the first female Olympic champion in Sydney, while Kate Allenby, Georgina Harland, Heather Fell and Samantha Murray have all won medals for Britain.

Kate French wins gold during the modern pentathlon
Image: Kate French wins gold during the modern pentathlon

She told the BBC on Friday: “I actually don’t know what just happened – I can’t believe it right now.

“I just knew I had to focus, and I knew I could do it if I focused on my shooting and ran as fast as I could.

“Thanks to my team supporting here and to my family at home. I couldn’t have done it without them.”