Morpeth’s Ross Charlton triumphed on Saturday at the British Under 17 Boys Tetrathlon, held at Bath University.
Tetrathlon belongs to the sport of modern pentathlon and comprises a 200m swim and an epee fencing competition, which produce points from which a handicap is calculated for the final event, the combined laser pistol shoot and run.
This means that your final finishing position is decided on the combined laser run stage. In the Under 17 category, the laser run means hitting five bullseyes at 10 metres followed by an 800m run, repeated three times. So that’s a total of 15 targets and 2,400m to run.
On Saturday Aurelio Callipa and Liam Openshaw were the event leaders having swum and fenced superbly. They had massive 70 and 60 second leads over Ross respectively going into the combined laser run.
Ross said, “We’re all in the British Junior Talent Squad together and I know how good Aurelio and Liam are, so when we got to the laser run, I knew I had my work cut out. But I just told myself to give it everything and see what happens”.
Ross nailed his first shoot, hitting the five targets with just five shots and blazed away on his run. He caught Aurelio on the second run and continued to make ground on Liam with deadly accurate shooting. The two lads went into the final run together with the Leweston athlete making an incredible attempt to maintain his lead.
However, with 300m to go, Ross caught him before kicking for home and winning by seven seconds. His time of 7mins 59secs, is thought to be a new U17 British record time (awaiting ratification).
Many of the British pentathletes belong to pentathlon academies at sporting public schools such as Whitgift, Millfield, Leweston and Rossall. However, Ross will be staying at home in Morpeth.
He said: “KEVI is a great school and we have all the sporting facilities I need, here on my doorstep.”
Ross would like to say a massive thank you to the clubs and organisations who are so vital to his training and development, such as his running coach Mike Bateman at the Harriers, Becky McGuire at the swimming club, Una Miller-Young at Paddock Hall Horse Riding School, as well as Iain Aberdeen at Newcastle’s Fencing & Shooting Club.
Also in tetrathlon action in Bath on Saturday were two other Morpeth athletes, Sam Tate who was seventh in the U15 Boys and Ross’ younger sister Sadie, who was sixth in the U13 Girls competition.