English schools


Emily wins silver

Banbury Harrier Emily Thompson ran a new lifetime best to win the Silver medal in the Senior Girls 800m at the prestigious English Schools' Track and Field Championships last weekend. Her time of 2min 06.71secs would have won 8 of the last 10 championship finals and is the 6th fastest time in Europe by an Under-18 girl this year. She was only beaten by a record-breaking run from Khahisa Mhlanga of Essex, whose 2min 04.4secs made her the fastest female 800m runner in the 87 year history of the competition.


The English Schools' championships, this year held at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium, brought together over 1900 of England's best athletes to represent every county in England over two days of competition. In recent years, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford have all competed in the English Schools championships, the most prestigious fixture in the athletics calendar for school-age athletes. Thompson, currently studying at The Warriner School Sixth Form, was competing for Oxfordshire for her fourth consecutive year but her first as a Senior Girl.


In the first of two 800m heats on Friday, Thompson ran a strong and measured race, easing past the leader Mollie O'Sullivan of Surrey with 200m to go and then striding to a dominant win in 2min 09secs. In Saturday's final she once again faced O'Sullivan, as well as Mhlanga who had impressed to win her heat. Mhlanga, who will be representing Team GB in the European Junior Championships in 2 weeks time, led the final from the gun but was closely tracked by a relaxed and powerful Thompson. When Mhlanga picked up the pace and tried to go away from the field at the bell, Thompson matched her stride-for-stride and with 150m to go there was nothing between them. Only over the last 100m did Mhlanga succeed in moving away, with Thompson finishing just 2 seconds behind to claim the Silver and O'Sullivan the Bronze.


Thompson attributed her success to the team of people who have enabled her to make real progress this season. "A race like this is the culmination of 12 months' hard work", she commented after the race. "So many people give up their time freely to help me train, get physically and mentally stronger and to ensure that I am in the best possible shape for the big events of the season. I am so grateful to them all and delighted that I can repay them with a performance like this".

This report & Photo by Richard Thompson. 

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