Starlet faces tough test after GB call

Great Britain biathle talent Ciara Blount

Great Britain biathle talent Ciara Blount

Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood competing at Brands Hatch. Picture: JCM Motorsports Photography

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An exciting biathle talent has spoken of her pride at stepping up in age to represent Great Britain.

But Ciara Blount will have to take on a busy schedule as she fits in international competition at the European Biathle Championships with her school exams.

The 10-year-old will jet off to Portugal to compete in the prestigious event from July 19.

She will do that at under-13 level after she qualified for the competition in Somerset.

That saw Blount take part in a 500m run, 100m swim and then run a further 500m run.

The Swanmore Primary School pupil finished among the fastest four qualifiers there to win a coveted place on Team GB.

Blount will now travel to Albarquel Park in Setúbal Bay where she will compete against the continent’s top emerging talent.

And that is a huge honour which has left her delighted.

Blount said: ‘I’ve had to train hard and I will continue to do so leading up to the championships but this is such an exciting opportunity.

‘I’m simply looking forward to getting to Portugal and wearing the Team GB strip.

‘Triathlon is my passion and gaining a place on the team for biathle is a great way to prepare for my competitive future in the sport.’

Blount has already picked up a host of wins to underline her bright potential.

She has won the South East England Triathlon Series twice and last month came second in the British Modern Biathlon Championships.

Blount also came second at the British Schools’ Modern Biathlon Championships at the Olympic Park in London in April, where she competed against over 300 other girls from across Britain in her age category.

The Hamble-based Chapel Tri and Meon Valley Cycle Club member won the Wessex Cross Country League this year, the Brighton half-marathon under-11s race last year and the International Castle Triathlon Series.

Blount’s busy timetable continues on the continent before she returns to undertake school exams.

Her head teacher at Swanmore Primary School, John Paterson, said: ‘Ciara is a brilliant pupil and we are very proud as well as excited about her success.

‘At the weekend she competes on the national stage and then on Monday returns to school, like any other pupil, to sit her SATs.

‘The whole school is behind her and we will all be wishing her the best of luck for Portugal.’

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