Golden finale for Sophie Mckinna

GREAT Yarmouth AC starlet Sophie McKinna brought the curtain down on a dream 2010 with gold at the Sainsbury’s UK School Games — but insisted she has bigger things in mind for next season.

The 16-year-old shot putter added this latest accolade to her ever-growing trophy cabinet that already holds gold from the U20 and U23 Championship, English Schools’ Championships and the Schools’ International.

The Lynn Grove High School pupil only managed silver last year but threw a mammoth 14.53m to take home the title this time around — almost 3m further than Pam Simi in second.

And although the throw was a new Games record — blowing Rachel Wallader’s four-year-old throw of 12.54m out of the water — the teen sensation admitted to feeling the effects of her Singapore Youth Olympics adventure as she took to Gateshead International Stadium.

“It was a good outing in terms of the result because obviously it is another gold to add to my season — although I would have liked to have thrown further, like I know I can,” she said.

“But it is definitely coming to the end of a very long season so, yes, the distance could have been better but it could have been a lot worse also.

“I only got back from Singapore a few days ago and I am still feeling the effects slightly and maybe that is why but that is no excuse – the distance was reasonable but perhaps not my best.

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“But to not throw my best and still come away with a UK School Games record is really pleasing and I am glad I have left that mark on the event.”

McKinna has had a whirlwind season which took her to Singapore last month where a new personal best throw of 15.14m was good enough for a fifth-place finish.

But even though she has climbed the top step of the podium on 14 occasions this year, McKinna has already set her sights on making her mark on the older competitions in 2011.

“It has been a dream season for me because at the start of the season I sat down with my mum and told her I wanted to go to the Youth Olympics and there I was in Singapore and I just couldn’t believe it,” she added.

“Words can’t even describe the season but if I had to I would call it the golden season – it has just been unbelievable.

“I have a rest now for the next few weeks and will reflect on this season but then I will look forward to next season straight away.

“There are some big competitions next year with the European Juniors, World Youths and Youth Commonwealths which will all try and get to.

“The Youths are obviously my age group but if I can through the junior standard then why not go there and try and challenge the older guys.”

The Sainsbury’s UK School Games is managed by the Youth Sport Trust, a national charity that works with more than 450 school sport partnerships across the country to improve the PE and school sport experience for all young people. For more information visit