STAFFORD javelin thrower Emma Hamplett broke the 40 metres barrier to record a personal best distance and cement her place at the top of the UK under-15 rankings.
There were nervous moments for the 14-year-old Haughton athlete when she saw her first two attempts in the third annual UK Javelin Carnival at Bedford deemed fouls and managed just 35m on her third – more than four metres below her season’s best.
Her nearest rival, Sophie Merritt (Southampton and Wiltshire Schools) reached 40.62m to steal the lead, briefly overtaking Hamplett as the UK’s number one.
But the Stafford Grammar School student responded with a huge throw of 42.44m to win her age group and regain the top slot.
Her prize was a replica of the javelin used by GB golden girl Jessica Ennis at the London Olympics.
“I’d wanted to get 40m in a competition and although I threw really well in the warm-up I did two no-throws at the beginning.
“I was competing against the UK number two, who was very confident.
My coach sorted out my run-up and it felt rewarding when I got my fifth throw right and got over 42 m,” said Hamplett.
She will compete once more this season at the end of this month before moving into the under-17 age category.