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England and county tiumphs for trio

PUBLISHED: 11:42 31 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 03 July 2010

Shot putt winner for England at the U17 international in Northern Ireland, Sophie McKinna of Bradwell.

Shot putt winner for England at the U17 international in Northern Ireland, Sophie McKinna of Bradwell.

In a great period for the area's sport, Bradwell athlete Sophie McKinna won for England, and on the bowls front Acle's George Tubby and Ashley and David Smith of Halvergate Top Green won county titles.

In a great period for the area's sport, Bradwell athlete Sophie McKinna won for England, and on the bowls front Acle's George Tubby and Ashley and David Smith of Halvergate Top Green won county titles.

Golden girl Sophie McKinna made a dream international debut, winning the shot putt for England.

The Bradwell teenager triumphed at the U17 international in Northern Ireland with a throw of 12.17m.

Back home this week Olympic prospect Sophie, 14, was proudly sporting her gold medal and England vest.

She has made spectacular progress since taking up the sport just 18 months ago and is currently ranked third for her age group in the UK.

Coached by shot putting legend Geoff Capes, Sophie was selected for England after finishing third in this month's English School's Athletics Championship.

Lynn Grove High School student Sophie was inspiring others at the Star Track athletics event at Wellesley Recreation ground on Tuesday.

She said: “I hope to encourage some of the youngsters to succeed, I have made a lot of sacrifices, but winning gold makes it all worthwhile.

“It would be amazing to take part in the 2012 Olympics, but the 2014 Commonwealth Games might be more realistic. More immediately my aim is to compete in the Youth Commonwealth Games next year.

“I have learnt such a lot from Geoff - he has really taken me on to a different level. I have to travel every weekend to Loughborough for training. It can be tough but that's what you have to do to succeed.”

Sporting prowess runs in the family with Sophie's granddad the legendary former Norwich City player and manager Dave Stringer.

The finals of the Norfolk County (EBA) Association championships took place at Norfolk BC on Sunday.

George Tubby of Acle St Edmunds was crowned as singles champion with a 21-13 victory over title holder John Ottaway of Wymondham Dell. The game was close over the opening ends but Tubby dominated the closing stages to run out a comfortable 21-13 winner.

Ashley and David Smith, members of Halvergate Top Green Bowls Club, were winners of the U25 Norfolk Open Pairs Competition at Holt.

The brothers will now represent Norfolk at the national finals to be played at Skegness in August.


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