I won't let Olympic heartbreak finish my career – Cooke
JAMIE Cooke says he will concentrate on retaining his world junior modern pentathlon crown after missing out on the chance to represent Great Britain at the London Olympics.
Cooke, 21, who grew up in Andoversford and whose parents now live in Charlton Kings, missed out on one of two men's places for the modern pentahtlon men's team.
But he said he would continue to give everything he can to his sport – keeping an eye on the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, in 2016.
Cooke, a former member of Gloucester Swimming Club, said: "It's rubbish not to make the team for London, but I'm still going to continue in the sport.
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"Everyone has been focused on the senior team, but I still have my junior world champion title and I will be out to defend that in Poland later in the year.
"People have told me not to give up the life of an athlete, as it's not so good in 'normal' life, so I am definitely going to keep going.
"And I know it's a cliche, but what has happened now will only make me stronger."
Cooke said he feels pride amid the disappointment.
Coming so close to a spot on the Olympic team at such a young age is a real achievement, and he wants to build on that.
There are few people who get within touching distance of representing their country, and Cooke said he now knows he is capable of competing for Britain at an Olympic Games.
"I am still young and inexperienced," he said.
"I had never really targeted London, but when the opportunity came along I had to go for it.
"This will make me train even harder and I will give everything I can to be successful."
Cooke said Nick Woodbridge and Sam Weale fully deserved their places on Team GB and he would do everything he can to support them.
He will act as a reserve and will continue to act as Woodbridge's training partner.
Cooke, a former pupil at Balcarras School in Charlton Kings, came to the modern pentathlon late having previously been purely a swimmer.
He is the fastest swimmer in the sport's history, but faced a steep learning curve trying to master show jumping, shooting, running and, in particular, fencing.