Biggleswade Athletic Club high jumper wins silver at tournament in Scotland

Leonie Brunning (left) on the podium. Picture: The Brunnings

Leonie Brunning (left) on the podium. Picture: The Brunnings - Credit: Archant

A Biggleswade Athletic Club high jumper has won a silver medal while representing England at the SIAB Schools’ International competition.

Leonie Brunning with her silver medal. Picture: The Brunnings

Leonie Brunning with her silver medal. Picture: The Brunnings - Credit: Archant

Leonie Brunning represented her country on Saturday in Grangemouth, Scotland, and came second in a field of eight of the UK’s best young high jumpers.

The 15-year-old had qualified for the event after finishing second at the English Schools Championships a fortnight ago.

Leonie’s opening jump saw her easily clear 1.51m, but her nerves then began to hit.

“I was a lot more nervous for this competition than I had been the previous week at English Schools because it was a higher level competition – I was representing England,” she said.

Leonie Brunning in high jump action. Picture: The Brunnings

Leonie Brunning in high jump action. Picture: The Brunnings - Credit: Archant


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“When the competition began it was an uneasy wait for my first jump, as other athletes started at lower heights.

Thankfully I cleared 1.51m on my first go. However, 1.56m was not so easy.”

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After two failed attempts at that height and on the verge of exiting the competition, she cleared it at the third time of asking – much to her relief.

“It was with relief rather than excitement with which I stepped off the bed as I knew I would have been extremely disappointed with myself to go out so soon,” said Leonie.

Leonie Brunning with her silver medal. Picture: The Brunnings

Leonie Brunning with her silver medal. Picture: The Brunnings - Credit: Archant

A first-time clearance at 1.61m followed before she took three tries to jump 1.64m. At the next height of 1.67m, the field of eight thinned to three – and Leonie knew she had won a medal.

“After clearing 1.67m at the second time of asking I found new determination as I had finally put myself in a medalling position,” she said. “This was the height I most struggled with.”

This determination was crucial at the next height of 1.70m, as another athlete exited and Leonie cleared – once again at the second attempt – to find herself in the top two.

But 1.73m was too much for the exhausted 15-year-old, who had given everything to get that far.

Leonie Brunning (left) on the podium. Picture: The Brunnings

Leonie Brunning (left) on the podium. Picture: The Brunnings - Credit: Archant

Scotland’s Carmen Neat cleared the bar and picked up the gold, meaning Leonie came back south of the border with the silver.

“It was a tough competition and I wasn’t entirely satisfied with my performance,” she said.

“However, I was delighted to come away with a silver medal.”

Leonie is already ranked third in the UK at youth level, and her latest performance may see her climb yet higher.

Leonie Brunning (left) on the podium. Picture: The Brunnings

Leonie Brunning (left) on the podium. Picture: The Brunnings - Credit: Archant

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