News A Case Study of Athletic Talent and Dedication – Ben Pond Modern Pentathlete and Thanet Roadrunner! A Case Study of Athletic Talent and Dedication – Ben Pond Modern Pentathlete and Thanet Roadrunner!


Report by Ian Lockyer
2014-11-04 21:12:25

A Case Study of Athletic Talent and Dedication – Ben Pond Modern Pentathlete and Thanet Roadrunner!

Thanet Roadrunners is a successful community based Athletics Club that caters for children and adults of all ages and from all backgrounds.  Part of its community commitments is to contribute to local charities and invest in youth development.  A recipient of this commitment both financially and via training is a successful Thanet Athlete who is fast making his presence felt on the Modern Pentathlon stage.

Ben Pond started Modern Pentathlon in 2012 after winning the British Biathlon Championships (Run, Swim). He had no experience of shooting or fencing at the time so went for taster sessions in both. He continued to train at shooting and entered his first triathlon (run swim shoot) later that year. In September 2012 Ben started fencing regularly in the hope of moving up into the world of Modern Pentathlon. It was after competing in the British Modern Triathlon  later in 2012 he was asked to attend talent camps in Gloucester.  From this he went on to be selected for the World Class talent programme in March 2013. Ben was relatively late in starting in the sport and had a lot of work to do if he was going to compete against the other boys in his age group.

His background in swimming means he is a disciplined athlete and knows that training hard will pay off, but training at 4 sports at the same time was a challenge in itself. Ben had also just started his A levels at school. Modern Pentathlon is 5 events but up to 19 years they only compete at four of the events, However, before Ben fully committed to this sport he needed to know that he would be able to ride as well, so discipline number 5 horse riding started! Although a challenge he knew he could improve and so weekly riding sessions began.

During 2013 Ben stopped riding to focus on fencing and shooting with the target of getting selected to represent Team GB as a Youth A (U19) athlete at the European Championships 2014

Over the last 12 months Ben has trained in Germany and Hungary and competed for Great Britain at home and abroad.

In April 2014 Ben took part in the final of the British School Biathlon Championships at the Olympic Park, Stratford on their opening weekend; again Ben won the swim which gave him an advantage going into the run and was enough to secure him the title by a clear margin.  

Ranked 4th in Great Britain Ben missed out on being selected for the World Championships but was selected with the other top 3 GBR boys for the European Championships.

In July, Ben travelled with the other Pentathlon GB team members to Sweden where he took part in the individual and team relay competitions. In the qualifying for the individual competition Ben and fellow Brit Henry Choong missed out on the final by the narrowest of margins finishing 38th and 37th out of 62 with the top 36 qualifying. Although disappointed this gave Ben and Henry a day’s rest before they competed together in the team relay competition. Against teams from 16 countries including all of the medalists from the individual event they had a brilliant competition finishing 2nd in the fence then winning the swim by a large margin to take a good lead into the combined event (Run Shoot). Despite a strong challenge from the Russian team who had finished 1st and 4th in the individual and Belarus whose athletes had both finished in the top 10, Ben and Henry held on to win and become European Champions. This was a brilliant result and just reward for the hard work put in by Ben over the last couple of years since he took up Modern Pentathlon. 

Having achieved outstanding results in his A levels, Ben has been offered a place at the University of Bath combining studying for a Degree in sports performance with ongoing training as part of the Pentathlon GB squad on the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme. This is going to be a big step up for Ben and he must now focus on obtaining his riding certificate to be able to compete with the senior athletes.

Ben has trained hard over the last 2 years and it hasn’t been without its ups and downs, disappointments frustration and doubt but coming home with a gold medal from the European championships makes all the hard work worth it. Thanet roadrunners have been an integral part of Bens sporting achievements and we hope that he will be an inspiration for other young athletes.

Ben Pond said, ‘I would like to also take the opportunity to thank the club for their continuous support for the past 3 years since I started at the club back in 2011. Without such a great team to help me along with my running I wouldn't be where I am today. This goes to not only the committee members for their generous grants to support me financially but also on the track where Noel, Gary, Steve and Derek have pushed me to become a better runner and a better athlete and for which I am truly grateful. ‘

Ben s now in line for Kent Regional News and Media Sports Awards Sports Star of the Year:  For more details, visit our news article at:


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