LEWISHAM swimmer James Allan took gold in the invitational world schools’ biathlon competition at Medway Park last weekend.

Allan, 15, attends Forest Hill School and was invited to take part in the world competition after winning the London schools’ regional event in October.

Pentathlon GB were hosting the senior modern pentathlon World Cup at Medway Park and the event was attended by all of the top modern pentathletes in the world, including the current world and Olympic champions.

As part of its commitment to developing young talent and inspiring the stars of the future, Pentathlon GB invited 150 young athletes of each gender to take part in the world schools biathlon.

Allan swims for Beckenham Swimming Club and recently took part in the Kent county swimming championships, where he won a total of 17 medals.

He is also a keen runner and since joining Forest Hill School has been the holder of the Lewisham schools’ cross country championships for the last four years.

Allan said: “One of my swimming friends recommended I entered the schools biathlon as it combines swimming and running, so I asked my PE teacher about it and he agreed that it would be a good idea to give it a go.

“I was amazed when I won the regional event, as this was the first time that I had done it.”

Modern pentathlon is a multi-sport event comprising the five disciplines of fencing, swimming, horse riding, pistol shooting and running.

It was introduced by the founder of the modern Olympic Games Baron Pierre de Coubertin and is recognised as one of the most testing of all Olympic events.

The schools’ biathlon involved a 100m swim and 1000m run.

Allan said: “I was happy with my swim time of 57:47s, which is close to my personal best and put me in second place, but I knew that I was competing against some very good runners.”

The leader after the swim was Marlon Gasparotto, who is also a member of Beckenham SC.

Gasparotto’s swim time was 56:95s and based on the pentathlon point system, this gave him a two second advantage going into the run.

Allan said: “Marlon and I were warming up for the run together and discussing our tactics, but basically all we could do was run for our lives.”

The runners set off on the track and then headed off into the woods.

Allan was first back into the arena and managed to keep a good lead into the finish, while Gasparotto finished in third.

“It was a great day and a fantastic experience,” added Allan.

“Everyone was really friendly and helpful and I will certainly look forward to entering more biathlons in the future.

“I wouldn’t mind having a go at the shooting or fencing, but I am not sure about the horse riding.”