The Route to the Top
Joe was born in May 1995, but his Pentathlon journey didn’t start until he joined Whitgift School in 2008 – This is the style in which I was recommended to write this biography. However, Joe doesn’t like writing about himself in the third person, so you are all going to have to put up with his unprofessional, personal version of events from now on.
Before Whitgift I played a lot of rugby, and I was also a national level swimmer. As a result, at Whitgift, both my brother and I were thrust into the school’s biathlon team (involving swimming and running). I don’t remember how we did, but let’s assume we both did well, with me doing slightly better than him. Anyway, after this I decided to give Pentathlon a go, so over the next year I picked up the three other sports ( shooting, fencing and horseriding, to the uninitiated among you). After doing some regional and national competitions,l with what we could call mixed results, I was chosen for the wildcard spot at U17 Europeans in 2010. I ended up winning this competition, and it was this result that made me start thinking about whether I could do Pentathlon seriously.
Over the next few years I did more competitions, ending in the 2013 U19 Worlds in China. I was ranked as youth World number one, and I went there with the intention of winning. I’ve always wanted to say I’m the best in the world at something, but at this competition I eventually finished second, something I’ve never been overly pleased with. I’ve always seen it as a missed opportunity, and in the words of my childhood hero Ash Ketchum, “I want to be the very best,” and coming second didn’t achieve that.
The year after this I joined the University of Bath to study Mathematics. It took me 5 years to finish my 3 year degree as I took time out for training, especially around the 2016 Olympics, at which I finished 10th. Over my time at uni I kept working and improving, something which was slowly reflected in my results. Then, the year after I finally graduated I became a full time athlete and I finally won my first Senior medal, a bronze at the European Championships in 2018.
Using this as a springboard to success, I began the 2019 season hoping to reproduce another medal winning performance. I did, 5 times in fact, including at the two biggest competitions of the year – the World Cup Final where I won Gold and a Silver at the World Championships. I ended the year as World Number One, and to put it professionally, Joe now has his sights firmly set on the Olympic Gold in a few months time.