Gabriella Jones started the indoor season in style as she won the Southern Indoor Championships under-15 shot put title at Lee Valley.
The City of Portsmouth talent, coached by Bronwin Carter and Andrew Vincent, showed she has been training well throughout the winter and produced the best performance of the day with her superb triumph.
She left all the opposition behind with her winning distance of 12.01m.
This success came off the back of a brilliant 2018 for her when she took the Hampshire title and the Hampshire Schools’ title as well as being ranked third in the United Kingdom for the under-15 shot.
She was presented with her southern title by British record holder Judy Oakes.
This continues a remarkable set of wins for Portsmouth with both Serena Vincent and Gaia Osborne dominating recent championships at Lee Valley.
Although not all the indoor results are ratified yet, at the moment Gabriella Jones is the top ranked under-15 in the country.
The possibility to emulate the feat of club-mate Serena Vincent in winning the national indoor title previously looks a real possibility.
Three young track athletes from City had their first taste of indoor action as the under-13, under-15 and under-17 competitions started the series of area championships off well.
Star of the track was young Hattie Bond in the under-13 girls’ 800m where she placed third in the final with time of 2min 36.88sec to pick up a brilliant bronze medal.
Ella Hutton ran a very creditable time of 9.1sec in the under-13 60m.
Emily Dunkley competed in the under-15 girls’ 800m and she ran 2min 37.16sec.
In the field events City had the gold from Jones to light up the occasion.
And Sam Kershaw followed up his good performance at the London games with a throw of 11.05m to take seventh position in the under-17 shot.
It was a great effort for a bottom year athlete in this age group.
With only one permanent 200m indoor track south of Manchester, or east of Cardiff the wonderful Lee Valley stadium provides the only close possibility for indoor athletics to the City Portsmouth club.