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Harpsden girl impresses at world championships
Published 17/12/12

A GIRL from Harpsden finished fifth in the Biathle World Championships last month.

Saoirse McClure Fisher, 10, also won a team silver medal on her Great Britain debut at the tournament in Dubai.

The Henley Swimming Club member said: “It was really fun and a good feeling to finish fifth in the world.

“I was very nervous because it’s the first big competition I’ve taken part in.”

Saoirse, who plays a number of sports at Abbey School in Reading, admitted she would like to compete at the Olympics some day but wasn’t yet sure which event she would pursue. She said: “It would be fun to be in the Olympics and get more money but I would have to deal with all the hassle. I would probably like to be in the swimming or running because they are my favourite sports. I do both long and short distances.”

The biathle is part of the pentathlon group of events and includes a continuous 500m run, 50m sea swim and another 500m run.

Saoirse, who also trains with Thames Valley Gymnastics Club in Sonning Common, travelled with her parents the week before the competition to acclimatise and train alongside 80 Team GB athletes everyday.

Heats started at 7.15am and temperatures reached 34C during the finals in the afternoon.

Her father Duncan, who once swam the English Channel, said: “For a 10-year-old, it was quite stressful to have cameras there and people from all over the world. It was quite a big deal for her but a good experience.

“She’s an all-round sports girl and is in all the school teams. Biathle is a nice sport because what you don’t want to do with a girl that age is push her down one route.Sometimes they are swimming too much at that age but she’s able to do gymnastics, hockey, netball and running as well.

“She gets a good balance rather than doing an extreme amount of one sport where she would get fed up.

“The idea is to build her up slowly and if she wants to go into the pentathlon and if she’s good enough then maybe there will be opportunities there.”

Published 17/12/12

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