Edge of your seat action at the 2023 British TIMBERSPORTS® Championship - Penlington defends his title

The ultimate test of the British Pro Championship taking place on Saturday 17 June brought plenty of action. 2022 Champion Glen Penlington was focussed on retaining his title, but with 2014 winner Rob Chatley returning to the stage, he knew he would have his work cut out for him. 

Rob Chatley, Glen Penlington and Tom Redmond feiern celebrating on the podium in Malvern.

Speaking before the competition, Penlington explained how hard he had been training: “I really want to win that title again. The pressure is on this year, perhaps even more so than last year, so I’ve been working harder than ever.”

This showed when Penlington posted personal best times in all of the first four disciplines. But the times were impressive across the board and his fellow athletes were hot on his heels with both Rob Chatley and Tom Redmond still able to topple him from the top of the podium going into the final round, the Hot Saw. Penlington’s Hot Saw has been his weak spot in the past. But he kept his cool to secure another personal best time of 8.30 seconds, which deservedly won him the overall title.

Only one day later, there was double the action with the Women’s Championship taking place in the morning and the Rookie Championship taking place in the afternoon.

Defending Women’s Champion Zoe Penlington was desperate to retain her title, but her competition got off to the worst possible start with a disqualification the Stock Saw for cutting an incomplete cookie. Despite going on to achieve two personal bests in the Single Buck and Underhand Chop it just wasn’t enough to get her over the line and she finished the competition in fifth place. 

There were some impressive stand-out performances from some of the other competitors though, particularly Libby Arrowsmith. At just 16 years old, she was the youngest athlete in the competition and was making history anyway as she was also taking part alongside her mum, Martine, to be the first mother and daughter to compete against each other in a British TIMBERSPORTS® Championship.

But the highest praise was reserved for Justine Narusa, who came second in 2022, but managed to go one better and take the top spot in 2023, getting a personal best in the Underhand Chop and setting a new national record in the Stock Saw.

The finale of the weekend was the British Rookie Championship which delivered even more personal bests and national records. With seven new rookies taking part this year, there was a definite sense of nervousness among the athletes before the competition started.

In the end, it all came down to the final discipline, with the top three competitors all on exactly the same points going into the Underhand Chop. But defending Rookie Champion Jack Morris showed everyone what he was made of in the final heat of the day with yet another new national record of 24.38 seconds, scoring maximum points and winning him the title of Rookie Champion for the second year running.

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