UK bronze for Mckinna on her senior debut

SHOT-putter Sophie Mckinna made a record-breaking senior debut, winning bronze at the Aviva UK Championships and Trials in Sheffield.

The Bradwell teenager finished third with a throw of 14.91m, a new indoor personal best and British indoor record for a 16-year-old.

She finished above world and European heptathlete champion Jessica Ennis in the competition on Saturday, which included all but one of the top-six senior throwers in the UK.

McKinna was in the silver position until the last round when she was beaten into third on count-back by a margin of just 20cm.

Currently studying BTEC Sport at East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston, she is coached by shot-putting legend Geoff Capes.

“Obviously I was very pleased to win bronze, I expected a top-five finish but not to come away with a medal. It is still sinking in, it is a big achievement” said McKinna.

“It was a real step up to compete at that level and in that atmosphere against professional athletes.

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“The competition was late on in the day which made it more daunting and I had to draw on all my experiences to do well.

She added: “My aim is to keep improving for the rest of the year and compete at World and Commonwealth Youth Championships.

“I have got an outside chance of going to the Olympics in 2012, but it is going to be tough. It is every athlete’s aspiration to compete at the Games.”

Mckinna, a member of Great Yarmouth & District Athletics Club, is set to be back in action at the Aviva U20 England Indoor Championships in Birmingham on February 26.

Any companies or individuals interested in sponsoring Sophie can contact her father Andrew on 07733 137206.