Teenage cross-country star Bobby Clay claims her eighth-place finish and GB team gold medal in the European Junior Championships was great experience
Teenage cross-country star Bobby Clay claimed that her eighth-place finish and GB team gold medal in the European Junior Championships in Serbia on Sunday would be great experience as she prepares for a bright future.
The 16-year-old Invicta East Kent AC star stormed through the field in Belgrade to finish as third Brit home over the 4km distance in 13min 40sec.
The race was won by Brit Emilia Gorecka, 19, in 13.06 to reclaim the crown she won two years ago and make it four individual medals at the competition.
Wingham athlete Clay said the Aldershot, Farnham & District AC star was an inspiration to her and she hoped to match her achievements in years to come.
Speaking after the race Clay said: “Everyone looks up to Emilia. She helps us out, we can ask her questions. It’s nice to have a role model like that to look up to and it’s nice to be in the same team as her as she’s so good.”
The Sir Roger Manwood’s School pupil had qualified for last year’s event in Budapest with a fine run in the GB trials in Liverpool only to be ruled out as she was too young to compete under IAAF rules.
She added: “I liked the competition. It’s good experience because I am so young. Hopefully, when I am Emilia’s age, I hope to be like her.
“This has been great experience and good fun. Winning team gold was definitely the most satisfying thing.
“I enjoyed the race. The start was crammed but slowly through the race I worked my way through the pack.
“I tried to pick it up as it went on. The start was quite fast and I could work my way up through the field.”
She added: “I was aiming to be one of the scorers for Great Britain, there were four and I came third and I was pleased with that.”
Clay’s sister Alex, 18, was 19th in last year’s event in Hungary but missed out on selection this time around.
Bobby finished 27th at the World Cross-Country Championships in Poland in March, claiming junior team bronze along with Alex and IEK club-mate Rebecca Weston.
On the track, Bobby was fourth in the World Youth Championships 1,500m in Ukraine, having been crowned World Schools Champion the previous month in the Czech Republic.
Her achievements in 2013 saw her named Junior Sports Performer of the Year, for the second year running, in the annual Canterbury and District Sports Awards.
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