Issy Hayes National Biathlon Champion

March 30, 2017

Farlington School pupil, Issy Hayes, competed at the British Schools’ Modern Biathlon Championships held at Crystal Palace Athletics Stadium on Saturday 25th March and came away winning the event and the title of National Champion.

The modern biathlon is a two-discipline event made up of a swim and a run. Qualifying events for the finals at Crystal Palace took place throughout the country during September and October last year with several thousand competitors from all the home nations competing and the top athletes making it through to the London finals.

Going into the event Issy, 12, was ranked in the top ten, so she needed to be in top form if she was looking for a medal position. Her first event was the swim where she put in a solid performance swimming a personal best time and keeping her in a good position for a podium finish. Both the swim and run heats were seeded, so the fastest 12 runners had to wait until heat 85, the last one of the day, to determine the overall winner.

Although it was sunny there was a brisk wind whipping around the stadium, so the 1600m run was going to be tough. Issy needed to put in a massive personal best to have any chance of winning the title. She ran hard and thoughtfully, leading from the start. After a couple of laps it become a race between Issy and the current number one athlete from Newcastle. Issy pushed hard, running a perfect race and crossed the line seven seconds ahead of the second placed athlete, taking the gold medal and winning the Under 13’s National Biathlon title.

In September, Issy won gold at the world’s largest junior triathlon at historic Hever Castle in Kent.
She has been working really hard with her coaches, in and out of school, and was delighted with her performance this weekend.

Sara Whittaker, Farlington’s Director of PE and Games, said, “Sport is a vital part of life at Farlington and we believe it has a positive impact on the girls’ academic and personal lives in terms of self-confidence, health and team-building. Issy’s efforts demonstrate that hard work, repetition and constant practice are keys to successful performance.

“Issy is a fantastic athlete with a great attitude and lots of potential. To succeed in this sport demonstrates her all-round ability. We are very proud of her at Farlington. As a Sport and Drama Scholar, she is a great role model to the other students. I’m sure she will build on this success.”