Teenage talents throw themselves into international contention

Gaia Osborne   Picture: Mick Young
Gaia Osborne Picture: Mick Young
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Bronwin Carter lavished praise on Serena Vincent and Gaia Osborne and insisted: The future of City of Portsmouth Athletics is very promising.

The teenage throwing talents took the Hampshire Championships by storm in the shot put earlier this month, to break county records at under-15 girls (12.90m) and under-17 girls (14.30m) respectively.

Vincent, who is ranked No1 in the UK for her age group, then threw a huge 13.66m in Oxford at the weekend to underline her status as the best in the nation.

Osborne, meanwhile, is recognised as the second best in the country having thrown 14.56m in Bedford, also at the weekend.

City coach Carter believes it is only a matter of time before the duo – who are also impressing with the javelin – make an impact on the international scene.

‘Their throwing is huge – it is tremendous,’ she said.

‘I don’t think any other city has got two very talented young ladies who are throwing that far.

‘If the girls carry on throwing the way they are under the guidance of shot coach Andrew Vincent, we are looking at a big boost for Portsmouth athletics.

‘The next thing in line for them is their England vests, then their GB vests.

‘English schools are coming up now, and if they fare well in that, which they will, then you are talking about an England vest.

‘Then there will be the European juniors and the world juniors.

‘If they can throw big now then the chances are they will be selected to be a part of all of that.’

Vincent and Osborne are not the only duo to have impressed for City recently, though.

Wheelchair racer Craig Boardman and Phil Trant – who has met the Paralympic qualifying distance in javelin with a throw of more than 37m – are equally deserving of recognition.

Carter added: ‘Craig just won the Westminster mile event and is very quick.

‘He is training hard with Paul Smith and is a young man with a lot of talent and attitude who used to belong to the Weir Archer Academy. Phil Trant has thrown the qualifying distance for Rio.

‘He has to be picked first, though, and do another qualifying distance as well.

‘GB can only take so many athletes so his chances are tough but we will wait to see if he can be in the mix.’

– JEFF MARSHMAN