Emily in seventh heaven after another national title

Emily Jenkinson
Emily Jenkinson
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Emily Jenkinson toasted a magnificent seven after winning another GB British Schools’ Modern Biathlon Championships title in London.

The 16-year-old former Portsmouth Grammar School pupil romped to victory in the year 12/13 girls’ category at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre to claim her seventh success in the competition.

Jenkinson was one of 700 young athletes taking part in the championships, where she came third in the 100m freestyle swim in 1hr 2.07min and followed that up by winning the run in a time of 2:57.08 to take the overall crown.

It took the teenager’s impressive record to seven titles in a row.

Her only disappointment was finishing runner-up at her first competition, the year five event all the way back in 2006.

‘I wasn’t expecting this many titles, to be honest,’ said Jenkinson.

‘I’m a bit shocked that I’ve so many.

‘The run wasn’t easy this year, it was a lot colder than I expected, but I’m really pleased that I won again.’

Jenkinson plans to be back again at the championships in 2014 for her final year at the event, again in the year 12/13 category.

Afterwards, Jon Austin, chief executive officer of Pentathlon GB, paid tribute to the likes of Jenkinson who helped make the competition such a big success again this year.

‘It’s been an enormous challenge to pull the championships together in the current weather conditions,’ he said.

‘I’d like to thank all of the volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly to ensure the event happened, as well as the schools, parents and athletes for showing the commitment to making the championships the successful event it has proved to be over the years.

‘Thanks, too, for everyone at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre for their support in making sure the competition could go ahead.’

The schools’ biathlon is run by Pentathlon GB, the national governing body for the Olympic sport of modern pentathlon, and gives young athletes an opportunity to have a go at a multi-sport competition featuring a run and a swim. They could also try out fencing and shooting taster sessions.

This year, young athletes also got the opportunity to meet Heather Fell, who won modern pentathlon silver for Great Britain at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Fell, who presented medals and trophies to many of this year’s winners, said: ‘Being involved with the championships this year really brought back fond memories.

‘It was great to be a part of it and to meet so many talented young athletes.’

Some former participants at the GB British Schools’ Modern Biathlon Championships have gone on to represent Great Britain on the senior international circuit.

They include Jamie Cooke, Britain’s 2011 world junior champion, and Joe Evans, who won bronze on his World Cup debut in California a month ago.

Both are currently in Rio for the second World Cup of the year.