ATHLETICS UPDATE: Hannah Tapley earns call-up for England and the Sainsbury's School Games

Hannah Tapley, 15, from Lechlade, who will represent England in a junior high jump tournament at the weekend (5434798)

Hannah Tapley in high jump action (8235924)

First published in Sport
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Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

HANNAH TAPLEY enjoyed a double bill of compensation after just missing out on the England Schools Athletics high jump title at the weekend.

On Saturday, Hannah, from Lechlade, will pull on an England vest for the first time to line up for a four-cornered home international meeting against Scotland, Ireland and Wales at Cardiff University.

And on Monday she was chosen to take part in the prestigious Sainsbury’s Schools Games in Manchester this September, the event which really launched the careers of the likes of Ellie Simmonds, Johnnie Peacock, Hannah Cockcroft and Adam Gemili.

“I’m so happy to get the call for two such great events,” said Hannah.

Last weekend at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, former Ciren AC athlete Hannah, who boards at Malvern St James School, equalled her personal best jump of 1.74 in the Intermediate Girls competition.

That was the same height cleared by eventual winner Abby Ward, but Hannah lost out on countback.

“I was delighted to jump 1.74m in Birmingham,” said Hannah, “and I get the chance to compete against Abby again in Cardiff as she is also on the England team.

“Looking at the record of the other girls in the competition we appear to be the two favourites.”

Hannah, 15, improved her personal best by 13cm in 2013 and another 9cm in 2014 to head the country’s U17 rankings.

Since winning the England Athletics Indoor U17s Championship earlier this season, she has maintained remarkable consistency, winning two county titles (Wiltshire as well as Hereford and Worcs) along with the Independent Schools Association (ISA) U17s championship when she equalled the national record.

To cap it all, she won Sportsperson of the Year at Malvern School.

The Sainsbury's 2014 School Games (September 4-7) will present her biggest task to date.

Manchester will host 1,600 up-and-coming stars from across the country in 12 sports at an event that boasts an Olympic-style athletes' village, anti-doping education, plus opening and closing ceremonies.

More than 10,000 spectators are expected to attend.

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