GB call for young shotputter
HAVING smashed local records, a young Great Yarmouth shotputter will be jetting off to Russia to represent her country and chase her Olympic dreams. Though she only started the sport two years ago, Sophie Mckinna, 15, has been called up by British Athletics to compete next weekend against some of the best young athletes in the world in the Moscow Olympic stadium.
HAVING smashed local records, a young Great Yarmouth shotputter will be jetting off to Russia to represent her country and chase her Olympic dreams.
Though she only started the sport two years ago, Sophie Mckinna, 15, has been called up by British Athletics to compete next weekend against some of the best young athletes in the world in the Moscow Olympic stadium.
And if the Lynne Grove student, who trains five days a week in pursuit of her ambitions alongside studying for her GCSEs, does well, she will be guaranteed a place at August's Youth Olympics in Singapore.
Sophie found out she had been selected for the under 18 European Youth Olympic trials last Tuesday when she was at The Burrage Centre gym.
She said: “I got a call from my dad telling me the news and I was just speechless - words cannot describe it.
“It's a pretty new experience to be flying out but it should be something that I remember for the rest of my life.
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“Though I'm quite nervous about it I hope to compete to my best and I think that there is a good chance of me getting through to the Youth Olympics.”
She is right to be quietly confident. Sophie, who is number one in the country for under 20s, has previously obliterated the qualifying requirement for the Olympic trials of 13.80m with a throw of 14.30m.
This was a personal best that she then repeated on Sunday when she came first at the county championships being held at The Wellesley Stadium in Yarmouth.
“It was a real confidence booster, and it feels like all the hard work has been worth it and I've had great support- my ultimate goal is to represent Britain at the highest levels.”
Her pursuit of this goal has only been helped by her weekly trips to Loughborough to train with shot putting legend and former world's strongest man Geoff Capes, with whom she recently spent a training week in Portugal.
Her father Andrew Mckinna said: “Her support her and we're so proud of her achievements; she puts in so much work, and though she's excited, she's still got her feet firmly on the ground.”