Fourth earns Niamh a place at home nations event

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A brilliant run in the closing 800 metres earned Niamh Emerson a surprise fourth place in the under 15s girls pentathlon at the English Schools Combined Events Championships in Birmingham.

The Amber Valley and Erewash AC athlete, aged 14, was part of the Junior Girls team representing Derbyshire Schools at this annual high-profile competition, where 40 of the best multi-eventers in the country make it through.

The one-day competition involves five events the first of which, the 75m hurdles, placed Niamh in 18th. Shot putt followed, and being the weaker of Niamh’s events, she dropped to 24th. High jump is a very strong event for Niamh and she jumped superbly to equal her personal best of 1.60m to take her to 11th. Long jump followed but a best jump of around 30cm off her best caused her to drop to 13th.

As an 800m specialist, the final event is always a good points scorer but on this occasion she had to run alone at the front of her heat, to push herself against the clock with fellow athletes trailing behind. Her time of 2.19.90 earned enough points to take her from 13th to fourth. Niamh was delighted as fourth gives her an automatic selection into the England Schools team to take on other home nations at the Schools International Combined Events in Glasgow in December.