Emma earns GB pentathlon call up

Bolton-le-Sands' Emma Whitaker with mixed relay partner George Budden at the Under 19 Pentathlon World Championships in Prague.
Bolton-le-Sands' Emma Whitaker with mixed relay partner George Budden at the Under 19 Pentathlon World Championships in Prague.
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Bolton Le Sands pentathlete Emma Whitaker will compete for her country at a major international meeting.

The 16-year-old is one of eight pentathlon GB athletes who have been selected for the first youth international of 2018.

The annual Under-19 sEuropean Cup in Sant Boi, Spain often sees 12 athletes entered into the event.

But with this year’s competition carrying ranking points for October’s Youth Olympic Games, each nation is restricted to four athletes per gender.

The team has been selected following the opening two Under-19s ranking competitions of the year

In the girls’ team, Whitaker is joined by Wiltshire’s Sarah Wilson, who topped both youth ranking competitions – Hertfordshire’s Alex Bousfield and Warwickshire’s Georgina Mitchell.

Whitaker, Bousfield and Mitchell all competed in either European or World Championships last season with Wilson the inexperienced member of the team having only made her international debut last December in Germany.

The boys’ team is headed by Yorkshire Pentathlon Club’s Toby Price who has enjoyed a fine 12 months both domestically and internationally.

He will be joined by Nottinghamshire’s Kieran Harby, Kent’s James Wilton and Somerset’s George Case in an experienced boys’ line-up.

The competition begins a busy few months on the youth international circuit with YOG qualifiers coming thick and fast, including the two major competitions of the season – April’s Under -19s World Championships and the Under-19s European Championships in June.

This year also doubles up with the Under-17s European Championships.

In contrast to normal format, the individual competitions will be split over two days with fencing taking place on the first day of the competition before the swimming and laser run on the second day.

As with all Under-19s internationals, the event will be a modern tetrathlon so no riding takes place.

As in previous years, the final day of the competition sees a mixed relay being held, giving athletes a second opportunity to put their skills into action.