BUDDING biathlon star Emily Jenkinson is celebrating her fifth consecutive Great Britain Schools’ Modern Biathlon Championship title.
The Portsmouth Grammar School athlete clocked personal bests in both the swim and the run as she successfully retained her crown at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The triumph caps a year to remember for the 14-year-old, who was runner-up in the young sportswoman of the year category in The News’ 2009 Sports Awards.
Shortlisted for the award again this year – with the 2010 winner set to be crowned in Monday night’s ceremony at Fratton Park – Jenkinson continues to win plaudits with her sporting performances.
The teenage talent stopped the clock at 2min 56.2sec in the 1,000m run.
The time was more than three seconds quicker than her previous best time.
And she surpassed all her former glories in the swim, too.
A time of 1:01.28 saw her secure the individual title on a day to remember.
‘I was pleased,’ said the Year 10 starlet, who is also Hampshire’s 50m freestyle champion in her age group.
‘My goal was to win the run and swim – as close to 2:55 and 1:01 respectively as I could.’
In a remarkable year, Jenkinson has become the country’s under-17 800m indoor champion – two years above her own age group.
The success came on the back of her under-17 south of England title she claimed in January with a championship best performance.
Last year, the Southampton Athletics Club ace was the English Schools’ 800m silver medallist in a time of 2:12.48.
That feat saw her ranked fifth in the UK.
She also won her first-ever 400m competition, when she crossed the line in 57.84.
It was a stunning time in an unfamiliar event, as it was the quickest in the UK at under-15 level and saw her go straight in at number three on the all-time list.
An 800m champion of Hampshire and Hampshire Schools’, the next stop for Jenkinson is the Aviva Future Stars training camp in Loughborough at Easter, where she will get the chance to learn from the best – double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes.
Meanwhile, the Crystal Palace win has earned her a bye into the British Modern Biathlon Championships in Birmingham in May.