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BIATHLON: County youngsters have Olympic spirit
St Margaret’s pupils (l-r) Archie Hughes, Amy Bolton and Nick Manners-Bell will compete at London’s Olympic Park
SHERSTON schoolboy James Hulme has qualified for the 2014 British Schools’ Modern Biathlon Championships at the Olympic Park over the weekend of April 5-6.
James, a Year Five pupil at Sherston Primary School, was selected after attending a number of regional qualifying competitions and is one of 145 boys in his age groups to compete next month.
The biathlon consists of a 50m swim at the London Olympic Aquatics Centre and an 800m run on the Olympic Concourse.
“It is a great experience and I feel really proud because I am also representing my village,” James said.
“Everyone is always really excited for me when they hear I am running – especially when it is for GB. Once someone asked me for my autograph – it was epic.
“I swim twice a week and I run whenever someone will take me; my Dad cannot keep up with me so he asks others to help.”
James, whose sporting heroes are London 2012 double gold medallist Mo Farah and England rugby star Owen Farrell, began running last February at a school’s cross country and has loved it ever since.
“I cannot believe that I am going to run where Mo Farah has run, and last year I got to play on the same Saracens’ pitch with Owen Farrell.
“These were both my ambitions so I am very lucky to have achieved these already.”
Three pupils from Calne’s St Margaret’s Preparatory School are also heading to Olympic Park for the event.
Amy Bolton (U10), Archie Hughes (U11) and Nick Manners-Bell (U12) qualified at a regional heat at Millfield.
St Margaret’s sports teacher Sophie White said: “Hundreds of pupils from schools across the country originally entered the competition.
“After the heats, all of the times were compiled centrally by the organisers and those with the highest rankings were invited to take part in the London final.
“I am thrilled that Nick, Archie and Amy have qualified for this special event in London.
“It will be the first competition held at the Olympic Park since the Olympics in 2012 and it will provide an exciting opportunity for them to race against other children from all over the country.
“To be racing at this national level is such an achievement.”
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