Newcastle school athletes scoop gold medals at London's Olympic Park

Biathletes from Central Newcastle High School have scooped a series of golds at a national competition held at London's Olympic Park

The Central Newcastle High School Under 17 team - Imogen Bishop, Gaby Smith and Lucy Howarth
The Central Newcastle High School Under 17 team - Imogen Bishop, Gaby Smith and Lucy Howarth

A group of young Newcastle athletes have brought home a fistful of golds following a national competition held in the inspirational setting of London’s Olympic park.

Girls from Central Newcastle High School scooped three podium-worthy titles at the Pentathlon GB’s British Schools’ Modern Biathlon Championships.

Competition was tough, with over 1,600 young athletes taking part in the national championships, which consists of a run and a swim.

Each athlete’s time and position in both events is then converted to points which are added together to give an overall ranking.

Jane Brown fought off competition in the under 14 category to be crowned individual champion. The 13-year-old ran 1,600m followed by a 100m swim to scoop the national title.

“Running and swimming are my two most favourite sports so I really enjoy the biathlon” said Jane. “It was amazing to take part in the competition and swim in the same pool as the Olympic Games, and when I realised I had come first it was breath-taking.”

The school’s under 17 team, which was made up of Imogen Bishop, Gaby Smith and Lucy Howarth, also claimed a national title finishing in first position, while the under 19 team, of Amy Larsen, Lucy Pages and Megan Fitzgerald, finished third.

PE teacher Margaret Kelly, who has been training the teams, said: “The key to the girls’ success is hard work, determination, and the amount of time they spend training.

“All of the girls attend local swimming and running clubs both in and outside of school.”

Competitors swam in the London 2012 Olympic pool at the London Aquatics Centre and ran on the athletics track just outside the centre.

The competition comes less than two years after Britain’s Samantha Murray produced a terrific swim in the same pool en route to winning the silver medal at the London Olympic Games.

It is part of the Olympic legacy commitment to host a range of local, regional and national events for both junior and senior school competitors.

Chairman of Pentathlon GB, Anthony Temple, said that it was exciting for young athletes from around the country to compete at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

He said: “It is hugely inspirational for young athletes to have the opportunity to compete in the pool where the world’s finest modern pentathletes battled it out for Olympic medals less than two years ago.”

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