Dudley schoolgirl Erin Maher is one of the top five biathletes in the country in her age group after a stellar display in London over the weekend.
The 11-year-old was one of three pupils from Maidensbridge Primary School in Wall Heath who travelled to the capital to take part in the British Schools Modern Biathlon Championships.
And after shattering a number of personal bests on the track and in the pool, the year 6 pupil secured an impressive fifth place overall in the under-11s girls’ category.
The event was held on Saturday and Sunday at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
Erin, Amie Parker and Jamie Hiscox, who all attend the school in Beachcroft Road, qualified for the championships through their performances in two qualifying events in October and November last year.
Modern Biathlon involves an 800-metre run followed later in the day by a 50-metre swim. Each performance is awarded points and then combined to produce final standings.
Amie’s hopes of similar success were dashed by an ankle injury in the 800m, while Jamie finished 78 th out of 165 in the under-11 boys’ category.
Dean Nolan, deputy headteacher at Maidensbridge Primary, said:
“The sport of modern biathlon, like modern pentathlon, is dominated by private and prep schools which have facilities and a curriculum that are geared for year-on-year success.
“However, this weekend three talented Maidensbridge pupils did something quite extraordinary to show what can be achieved in very different circumstances.
“We are very proud of what these children have achieved in Biathlon this year and we hope that all our pupils will be inspired by their success.”
Erin is also the current Dudley Schools’ cross-country champion. She will be representing Dudley in the inter-area race against Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Walsall at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton on Saturday.