City’s seven starlets shine

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Champion Piotr Meller with duathlon organiser Rob Piggot.  Picture: Neil Marshall (170306-18)

Defending champion ready for Portsmouth Duathlon mission

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CITY of Portsmouth are celebrating after seven athletes chosen to represent their county were crowned national champions.

Hampshire under-13s girls were crowned National Sportshall champions at Sportcity, Manchester, last month for the third year in succession.

City starlets Lorna Dockerill, Anya Pigden, Madeleine Wilton, Hollie Thurgood, Natasha Palfrey, Heather Cubbage and Sarah Hunt all helped their county team to deserved victory.

The team finished a comfortable 50 points ahead of second-place side Avon.

Proud City of Portsmouth chairman Phil Budd said: ‘This is the third year running that girls from the City of Portsmouth Athletics Club took part and won it with Hampshire.

‘It is a lot for the next generation to live up to.

‘I knew they were capable of it but you tend to get a bit nervous – we were always optimistic, though.

‘About five years ago, we got the juniors organised on a more professional basis, since then, we have had more intent in the competition.’

Sportshall competitions are renowned for their electric atmosphere and teams are cheered on by enthusiastic supporters while tackling exciting relay races and challenging field events.

All activities take place in standard community sports halls or gyms using portable equipment.

The girls took part in a series of athletic events including standing triple jump, standing long jump, obstacle relays as well as other various running races.