International medal success for Grice and Osborne

Maisie Grice on her way to a silver medal for England. Picture:
Maisie Grice on her way to a silver medal for England. Picture:

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Maisie Grice and Gaia Osborne both achieved medal success at the Schools’ International in Kent.

The England duo were in excellent form as they battled against the best athletes in their age group from Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

Gaia Osborne, right, on the podium in Kent

Gaia Osborne, right, on the podium in Kent

Grice, from Fareham, finished third in a very fast under-17 1,500m steeplechase race.

Osborne, who competes for City of Portsmouth, took the bronze in the under-17 shot put.

Both athletes had booked their places to travel to Ashford with silver medals  at the English Schools’ Championships in Gateshead the previous weekend.

On Saturday, Grice finished with a time 5min 06.96sec showing she was able to perform strongly on the big stage.

England team-mate Holly Page took first place in 4.53.94 and Welsh athlete Lucy Davies finished second in 4.58.99 – with both recording new personal best times after setting a searing pace from the start.

Irish duo Laura Nicholson (5.11.26) and Aoife O’Brien (5.33.19) finished fourth and fifth as runners battled for glory.

Grice was pleased with her performance and revealed the international medal was far beyond her expectations for the summer.

She said: ‘I was really pleased because I wasn’t expecting to get an England vest this summer.

‘On the day I wanted to aim for a medal but it was difficult because I didn’t know the other athletes. Some of them I had never raced before.

‘It was a really good experience and I’m proud to have got my first international medal.

‘I didn’t know how the race was going to go but the start was very fast, it was a lot different to the English Schools race which was a slower start.

‘I probably prefer a slower start really – I did even pacing at the English Schools and it seemed to work.

‘But I stayed with the front two for about a lap, then I let them go.

‘I didn’t want to let the gap get too big and there was an Irish girl behind me. I didn’t know close she was so I just had to keep focused on my race.’

Grice, who runs for Aldershot, Farnham & District, really enjoyed the experience of mixing with the other England athletes.

She added: ‘The teams get together and it is really nice.

‘Gaia did very well and it was nice having someone else from Hampshire there with me.’

Osborne took third in the shot put with a top distance of 14.19m.

The favourite Sarah Omoregie, of Wales, finished first with 14.98m but she has a personal best of 15.83m.

A new personal best of 14.77m saw England’s Hannah Molyneaux take second.

It’s been a big summer for Osborne who is ranked number one in England with her personal best of 14.99m.