Region's duo excel in U-17 tournament
PUBLISHED: 13:54 27 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:23 03 March 2010
ATHLETICS: TWO Suffolk athletes made an outstanding showing in this year's international Under-17s athletics tournament held in Dublin.
West Suffolk AC's Jo Chapman took gold in the javelin with a throw of 41.
TWO Suffolk athletes made an outstanding showing in this year's international Under-17s athletics tournament held in Dublin.
West Suffolk AC's Jo Chapman took gold in the javelin with a throw of 41.74m, smashing the competition record of 41.08m, while Ipswich Harriers' Jermaine Bernard scooped a silver medal in the long jump with a leap of 7.19m.
Chapman and Bernard were the only two athletes from Suffolk competing, which saw the best Under 17s from the recent England Schools competition held in Exeter taking on the cream of athletes from Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Chapman, who was also captain of the girls' team said: "I was really proud to be picked as captain. I didn't know about it until we got to Dublin and I was really honoured to do it."
Although she didn't beat her previous personal best of 42.37m, the 16-year-old had a comfortable victory, winning by well over four metres.
"I threw 41.74m for my first throw, but then the wind got stronger and stronger which made it harder and harder to keep the throwing straight. However, I already had that strong throw behind me – I always like to throw a long way to start with, it tends to dampen everyone else's spirits and that's when I am always really fired up," she said.
Meanwhile, Bernard missed out on first spot in the long jump by 11cm. His father Ralph said: "Obviously as a parent I am biased, but it was a great event," he said. "I was so pleased for him to be representing England, especially at only 16 years old."
Bernard, of Valley Road, Ipswich, jumped well over his personal best distance of 7m and also broke the meeting record with his 7.19m jump.
He has now started a specialist training regime with Ipswich gym Fitness First in preparation for the AAA's Individual athletics tournament in two weeks' time, in which both he and Chapman will be
n Jermaine is very grateful to LJ Environmental for their sponsorship and support. If anyone is interested in sponsoring Jo then please contact 01284 701916. She would sincerely like to thank the Ron Pickering Memorial Trust Fund for all their assistance.