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Sophie McKinna in epic battle for gold at British Indoor Athletics Championships

PUBLISHED: 16:47 18 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:38 20 February 2018

Sophie McKinna reacts during the shot put in Birmingham. Picture: PA

Sophie McKinna reacts during the shot put in Birmingham. Picture: PA

PA Wire

Great Yarmouth’s Sophie McKinna was involved in an epic battle at the British Indoor Athletics Championships in Birmingham yesterday.

Sophie McKinna in action during the shot put at the British Indoor Athletics Championships. Picture: PA Sophie McKinna in action during the shot put at the British Indoor Athletics Championships. Picture: PA

McKinna was involved in an enthralling battle for gold with the experienced Rachel Wallader.

Wallader needed to throw an indoor personal best of 17.45m to win gold during a final in which the two British women threw beyond 17.40m at an indoor competition for the first time since 1987.

The talented McKinna also threw a personal best of 17.42m with a final throw that saw her slump to the floor following the exertion, although it wasn’t quite enough in the end.

McKinna’s throw was enough to see her move to sixth in terms of the list of all-time throws by British athletes, though, while Wallader’s was the fifth-best.

Sophie McKinna, left, with eventual winner Rachel Wallader. Picture: PA Sophie McKinna, left, with eventual winner Rachel Wallader. Picture: PA

Considering McKinna is only 23 and most shot putters don’t peak until their late 20s, there is surely plenty more to come from her.

“There’s elation and disappointment all in 10 seconds, to visually be able to see three centimetres out on the mats is ridiculous but you’ve got to go with it and believe you’re confident and to be in the lead all the way through is a position I’ve never been in before,” said a disappointed McKinna.

“I knew Rachel was capable of throwing 17.50m at least so I knew I had to be over that and I wasn’t.

“I’m pleased to come away with a medal and to throw a personal best but I don’t want silver, I want gold.”

Sophie McKinna reacts after a thow. Picture: PA Sophie McKinna reacts after a thow. Picture: PA

Wallder added: “I managed to pull it out of the bag last year against Sophie so I knew I had that throw to deliver. I expect a lot of myself so I was delighted to throw a PB, but I really thought Sophie had got me on the last throw – it was a fantastic effort.

“Shot put has grown over the last few years and it is excellent to see Sophie throwing so well. She’s had a rough couple of years so it was great to have that competition.

“The atmosphere was amazing here; it’s the best I’ve ever experienced at a British Championships – it was a proper showcase of the shot put.”

Dereham’s Chris Baker was runner-up in the high jump behind Mike Edwards, who claimed his first national high jump victory with a jump of 2.20m.

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