An unexpected medal came the way of 13-year-old Amber Valley & Erewash Athletic Club member Niamh Emerson, as she struck gold to become an England Athletics Champion.
Niamh triumphed in the under 15s girls 800m at the England Athletics Under 15/Under 17 /Under 20 Indoor Championships, which was held at the NIA in Birmingham.
Fresh from her victory in January at the Northern Indoor Championships, she became yet another athlete from the club’s middle distance training group to medal at a major championships.
With no obvious hot favourite within the race, based on personal best times, it was clearly going to be a close contest.
Niamh again ran an intelligent race over the four laps of the NIA boards, letting others take the pace for the first two laps and running just wide enough to keep her out of trouble.
Sitting on the shoulder of the leader during the second half of the race, she made her move with 150 metres to go, taking the lead, and then, as others challenged, she found enough to kick again, enabling her to go on and win the race by what proved to be a clear margin.
At the same Championships, Jessica Turner reached the final of the under 20s womens 400m, coming third in her heat, but she had to settle for fifth place in the final.
Another major medal success over that weekend was 21-year-old Alexandra Turner, who was successful in winning bronze in the women’s 800m at the British Universities and College’s (BUCS) athletic championships in Sheffield.
Alex is currently a student at Nottingham Trent University and she had tough qualification rounds and a semi-final over the two-day event before lining up in a very competitive final.
With 60 metres of the race to go, Alex was situated in fourth place but she was clearly determined to get a medal and so she fought hard down the final straight in order to go on and clinch what was a a well deserved bronze.