Matt and James McCarthy, aged 16, from Crowborough repeated their international successes from last year, claiming a team bronze medal for Great Britain at the 2016 UIPM Biathle World Championships in Florida.
The twin brothers, who represent both Crowborough Runners and Beacon Swimming Club, were selected to represent Great Britain in this modern pentathlon discipline which consists of a continuous 1200m run, 200m swim and 1200m run, following their performances throughout the National race series where they both placed in the top 5 nationally.
Over 700 athletes from 25 countries took part in the Wiorld Championships in Sarasota from 21st to the 23rd October. With temperatures in the high 80’s and a fantastic competition course, there was a great atmosphere across the whole weekend with races starting on the Friday and concluding on the Sunday.
With 30 athletes having qualified, James and Matthew’s U17 final was raced on the Sunday afternoon with a strong field including the current European Champion and a large contingent from South Africa whose team had already claimed a large number of medals across the other age group competitions.
The initial 1200m run toward the first transition saw Matt race to the front of the leading pack where 7 athletes had broken away from a chasing group which included James and the remaining 3 members of the GBR team. The 200m open water swim then saw many places change hands and both Matt and James emerged from the water and into the 2nd transition just a few seconds apart but with James holding a slight lead over his brother.
The final 1200m run saw both boys pick up a number of places as their competitors started to tire and James eventually crossed the line in 11th place with Matt only a few seconds behind and gaining in 13th.
As the boys were the 2nd and 3rd GBR athletes home, their respective times, along with fellow GBR athlete, Will Howard were aggregated to determine the overall team placings and the brothers were delighted to win bronze for Great Britain behind Portugal and Argentina who won gold and silver respectively.
Freedom Leisure who operate the Crowborough Leisure Centre, have given the boys free memberships under their talented athlete scheme and again, this has helped them both enormously.