Leonie jumps to a silver for England

Leonie Brunning. Picture: Brunnings.
Leonie Brunning. Picture: Brunnings.

Biggleswade AC’s Leonie Brunning kept up her stunning run of form in the high jump with the silver medal at the SIAB Schools’ International at Grangemouth, Scotland.

Making her debut in an England vest, Leonie soared to a brilliant 1.70m to consolidate her recent performances that have propelled her to third in the UK under-17 rankings. L

Leonie Brunning. Picture: Brunnings.

Leonie Brunning. Picture: Brunnings.

Competing as one of two athletes representing England in a field of eight against jumpers from Scotland, Wales and Ireland, Leonie entered the competition at 1.51m and cleared at the first time of asking. However, jitters were affecting her performance.

She said: “When the competition began it was 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.”

Having seen her fail twice her family feared this would be the height at which she would exit the competition. But Leonie dug in: “Taking three attempts to clear … 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.”

A first-time clearance at 1.61m followed, but more drama was to follow as it took three attempts to 1.64.

The next height, 1.67m, saw only three of her rival athletes clearing and medals were suddenly in reach. Thankfully Leonie went clear with her second attempt. She said: “I found new determination as I had finally put myself in a medalling position. This was the height most struggled with.”

Only two athletes would clear the next mark, and thanks to the determination she had shown at the previous height, Leonie was one of them.

The gold medal height proved to be 1.73m. Scotland’s Carmen Neat took gold and Leonie’s England teammate Emma Sherwood took the bronze.

“It was a tough competition and I wasn’t entirely satisfied with my performance,” Leonie added. “However, I was delighted to come away with a silver medal!”

She has been selected to represent the Midlands in the School Games which take place at Loughborough University from August 30 to September 2.