ATHLETICS: Hurdling talent celebrates English Schools’ Championships medal success

Joe Purbrick shows off his English Schools' Championships silver medal. Picture: SUBMITTED

Joe Purbrick shows off his English Schools' Championships silver medal. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Huntingdonshire hurdling talent Joe Purbrick is celebrating English Schools’ Championships medal success for the second successive year.

The St Ivo Academy pupil bagged a 100m hurdles junior boys' bronze in 2018 when representing Cambridgeshire on the national stage.

And the 15 year-old, a member of Nene Valley Harriers, followed up with an even better performance this time around when roaring to silver in the intermediate boys' bracket at the Alexander Stadium, in Birmingham, last Saturday.

"My initial target was just to reach the final and I knew I would have to run my best to achieve that," said Purbrick, who was competing in this age group for the first time and facing older rivals.

"It was an open field for the final, but I was very realistic in my expectations given I was the youngest athlete.

"A very good performance in my heat gave me hope and I'm overwhelmed with my performance to win the silver medal.

"It's my first year working with my coach Alan Sims and I can see a lot of potential to continue my progression."

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Purbrick clocked a new personal best of 13.11 in the final after previously finishing second in his heat in 13.68.

That new mark lifts him to third in the national Under 17 Men rankings despite still only being 15.

His fine performance continues a terrific year in which he has won major titles indoors and outdoors.

And Purbrick's exploits in Birmingham have earned him a place in the English Schools' team for the Home Counties Schools' Track & Field International, which is being held in Swansea this weekend. He will now do battle against the top hurdlers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Pubrick, who faces a one hour and 45 minutes commute from his Colne home twice a week for training, added: "I'm very happy to have been selected to compete for England for the first time."

Pubrick is not just an impressive athlete. He is also a highly-rated footballer who has spent time in the Tottenham Hotspur elite academy.

Purbrick will play for Histon in the Eastern Junior Alliance League next season.

Purbrick is looking for sponsorship to support his athletics career. Anyone interested can make contact through his mum, Sally, on 07702 150731.