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Norwich's Blunt too sharp for Birmingham rivals

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 May 2010 | UPDATED: 10:12 02 July 2010

Ellie Blunt with her gold medal from Birmingham.

Ellie Blunt with her gold medal from Birmingham.

Ellie Blunt followed in the footsteps of Olympic stars Kelly Sotherton and Mark-Lewis Francis on Sunday as she won gold at the Aviva Sportshall UK final, in Birmingham.

Ellie Blunt followed in the footsteps of Olympic stars Kelly Sotherton and Mark-Lewis Francis on Sunday as she won gold at the Aviva Sportshall UK final, in Birmingham.

The Norwich 13-year-old topped the podium in the speed bounce event with 86 bounces at the flagship junior athletics development event of the year in the West Midlands.

Blunt, who attends Broadland High School, had double success as she also claimed silver in the four-lap sprint race with a time of 49.2seconds at the LG Arena.

And after writing her name into the Sportshall history books alongside the likes of Sotherton and Lewis-Francis - who tasted success in 1992 and 1998 respectively - Blunt was more than satisfied with her days work.

The City of Norwich Athletic Club star said: “I am happy that I won gold in the speed bounce but I am a little bit disappointed because I know I could have done more.

“I got 99 bounces at the regional competition and I was some way off that but I still enjoyed myself out there and am really pleased to have won gold.

“I think Sportshall is a really good idea because it gets kids doing more sport and the competition here is really tough, which makes winning even better.”

Blunt's efforts at Birmingham's LG Arena did not go unnoticed, with current Great Britain and Northern Ireland team hurdler Will Sharman keeping a close eye on the former Coltishall Primary School pupil.

And Sharman, who finished fourth in the 110m hurdles at last year World Championships in Berlin, believes Blunt has a bright future ahead of her.

“All the athletes including Ellie gave their all and that is great,” said Sharman. “Some big names have come through Sportshall and it seems to be that this place identifies talent very well so let's hope we are seeing some more future GB stars.”

Aviva Sportshall forms part of the Aviva UKA Academy, giving children aged nine to 15 a competitive and fun introduction to athletics, with the hope of unearthing future champions along the way.

To find out more, visit aviva.co.uk/athletics

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