Sublime Serena is victorious in epic English Schools event

Serena Vincent, right, with club-mate Sarah Hunt, left, and coach Bronwin CarterSerena Vincent, right, with club-mate Sarah Hunt, left, and coach Bronwin Carter
Serena Vincent, right, with club-mate Sarah Hunt, left, and coach Bronwin Carter
A POWERFUL display from Serena Vincent saw her crowned English Schools junior shot put champion.

The City of Portsmouth athlete threw 13.00m to take the title in Gateshead.

Her nearest rivals Bekki Roche, who set a new personal best of 12.75, and Zoe Price, who threw 12.65, piled the pressure on throughout.

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But despite the nerves that go with being ranked number one in the country and favourite to win the big title, Vincent managed to produce when it mattered to take the gold.

As well as her biggest throw in the final round she also launched the shot out to 12.58, 12.54, 12.66 and 12.75.

Victory continued her amazing winning streak stretching back to August 2015.

She has won every major crown so far in 2016 at under-15 level.

‘It all came down to the last few throws,’ said Vincent.

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‘I was joint first and the pressure started to rise but I pulled it out of the bag with my last throw.

‘It was really exciting. My rivals were throwing new personal bests and it made me nervous but I knew I was capable of throwing further.

‘I was the first person to throw and they were always chasing me.

‘It put the pressure on when they kept throwing further and further so I was pleased I handled that.’

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The success is another reward for the dedication, determination and focus shown by the talented athlete.

All the work she puts in with coaches Bronwin Carter and her dad Andrew has paid off in style with her outstanding results.

She also set a new Hampshire Championship best of 12.90m for the shot when she won that prize in May.

Vincent views the English Schools’ title as the biggest success for her so far.

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She added: ‘This is the big one. It is the biggest championship and I felt really proud on the podium.

‘The indoor UK Championship was big because it is not just athletes from England.

‘But when you go to the schools championship you have so many athletes and you have to travel away.

‘I knew what to expect because I competed there last year and I enjoy it.

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‘You have 4,000 people staring at you, it’s on television, and people are speaking on the tannoy all of the time.

‘The runners are competing around you and there is such a buzz around the venue.’

Sarah Hunt, also of City of Portsmouth, finished fourth with 11.70m making it a good event for Hampshire.

Vincent added: ‘I was competing with my best friend Sarah.

‘We train together in Portsmouth and it is nice to support each other.’

Unfortunately, the junior girls do not have an international but Vincent has the Southern Championships and the UK Championships to look forward to in August.