Amelia took part in the Welsh Indoor Championships this weekend in Cardiff. The two events she entered were the Long Jump and the 60m sprint.
In the first event, her Long Jump, and after a confidence-building warm-up, she had four competitive jumps. She was the last in each round to jump, so she knew what her opposition was. Hannah Thomas, a regular adversary, managed a Championship record-smashing 5.15m (the record was 5.13m). Amelia looked relaxed as she got ready for the third of her four jumps and pulled a 5.14m jump out of the hat - her best performance at this event. Sadly her fourth jump didn't improve on that and she was pipped to Gold by 1cm. Always next year ...
An hour or so later Amelia ran her 60m heat (one of four) where the four winners and four fastest runners up would go through to the Final. Amelia's race featured Hannah Thomas again and with Hannah racing in at 8.12s for the 60m distance, Amelia managed a fantastic 8.16s to be the fastest runner up of all the heats (2nd overall including the slower winners of the other heats) - her previous best was 8.24s, so a good improvement on her Personal Best (PB).
Tensions were rising as the Final approached later that afternoon, as Amelia and Hannah knew they had to really pull a strong performance out of the hat. They lined up in lanes 9 and 7 respectively (lane 1 not being used). An outside lane like lane 9 is not a great draw, but nothing could change that. After a false start, the Final was away. Hannah had to give everything she had and equalled the Championship record of 8.02s. Amelia improved on her PB yet again, smashing it to get a photo-finishing 8.03s. Silver by 1/100th of a second!
One of Amelia's coaches, Trevor Marsay from Birmingham, came down to help Amelia in competition for the first time. He spotted her at the South of England Championship three weeks ago and was very impressed by her power and abilities. He approached us and asked if Amelia could join his multi-events sessions in Birmingham once a month. Trevor coaches Kelly Southerton, the GB International heptathlete. Amelia will continue with her club, Hercules Wimbledon, and coaching / training will continue with John Vernon and his wife Judy Vernon in Sutton, Surrey where they have fantastic facilities. John and Judy have coached Amelia since approaching us at the end of last season (October 2006) and have great credentials between them. John represented Team GB at triple jump and Judy won a Commonwealth Games Gold medal in 1974 in sprint hurdles. John coaches Amelia in Long Jump and Judy covers Hurdles, she has another coach called Dee for the High Jump and a mentor for the Shot called Michael Williams. Michael is 15 and already holds the world record for Shot for a 15 year old! And finally, for the pentathlon, Amelia is part of the Surrey Elite Athletes Squad who get training for sprints from Donovan Reid - he came 7th in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Not a bad set of backers!
Amelia is up against Hannah Thomas next weekend in the invitational Celtic Cup International Match in Cardiff - Amelia is on the Spar-sponsored Welsh team and Hannah is on the Swalec-sponsored Welsh team - two Under 15s running 'above age' in the U17 team! Let's see if Amelia can put paid to Hannah's winning streak once and for all!
In the meantime, we are really proud of Amelia for getting two PBs in Wales and two magnificent Welsh Silver medals.