Sophie Lewis Ward clocks Euro Youth qualifier
On 9th April, Sophie, representing England at the EAA Race Walking Permit meeting in Podebrady (CZE), recorded a big personal best over 5km of 23:36 (was 24:17) to finish second in an international field of youth race walkers. The time is well inside the British Athletics qualifying time for the European Youth Championships (24:30), to be held in Tbilisi, Georgia in July.
At the end of the first one kilometre lap Sophie was part of a seven girl lead pack. By three kilometres the eventual winner had pulled away and the chasing pack was reduced to three, Sophie and athletes from Turkey and Italy. At the bell Sophie was sitting in third position three seconds behind the Turkish athlete and one second ahead of the Italian. A final lap of 4:38, her fastest of the race, brought her through into silver medal position, finishing five seconds ahead of the Turkish walker.