Nick Woodbridge: Not time to retire yet

Shropshire Olympian Nick Woodbridge returns to action at the World Cup Series in Brazil next month after deciding to extend his career for at least another year.

Nick Woodbridge
Nick Woodbridge

The Telford modern pentathlete had been considering his future in the sport after finishing a disappointing 10th place at London 2012.

It is still not clear whether Woodbridge will be targeting a place at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. But the 26-year-old from New Works has decided to continue for the next 12 months and assess himself on a yearly basis.

And he will return to action at the second of four World Cup series events in Rio de Janeiro from March 20 to 24.

Woodbridge, who is studying economics at Cardiff University, will miss the first event in the series in Palm Springs this month because of work commitments.

But he said: “It is another long cycle to Rio.

“I have thought about it and I have decided to continue for another year and take it year by year.

“While I am still enjoying it it is hard to retire. I had a couple of months off after London 2012 and really wanted to come back.

“But if I don’t progress or I don’t perform as well as I did last year I will retire. The only reason I would want to go to Rio 2016 is to compete for a medal.”

Woodbridge, who took up the sport in 1999 and won gold in the World Youth Championships in 2004, intends to compete in two of the four series events between now and May and hopes to amass enough points to qualify for the final, in Russia later this year, without having to participate in a third.

“I’ll do two World Cup events,” he said.

“Last year I did the first two and got sixth place both times so I didn’t need to do any more to get to the final.”

Woodbridge’s 10th-place overall finish at London 2012 – 15 places higher than in Beijing four years earlier – saw him come 13th in the fencing, second in the swimming, 11th in the showjumping and 23rd in the combined event.