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School Sport: British Biathlon titles for Coopers

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 April 2017

Coopers Coborn won the under-16 boys team title at the National Biathlon Championships

Coopers Coborn won the under-16 boys team title at the National Biathlon Championships

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Upminster School celebrate National Schools’ double

Coopers Coborn's Ben Davis is a National Biathlon champion Coopers Coborn's Ben Davis is a National Biathlon champion

Coopers Coborn pupils landed two more national titles at the Schools’ Biathlon finals at Crystal Palace before the Easter holidays.

A total of 23 students took part in the event, which includes swimming and running over various distances depending on age group, having qualified by virtue of ranking lists compiled from more than 30 earlier events.

And Ben Davis produced a 200m swim of two minutes 16 seconds, followed by a superb 1,600m run of 4.24 in the under-19 boys’ competition, to finish with 2,487 points and become British champion.

Assistant headteacher Mark Duncan said: “Ben swam exceptionally well but was nine seconds behind the leader and had to beat his rival by 18 seconds in the run to win the title.

Coopers pupil Ben Davis was crowned under-19 biathlon champion Coopers pupil Ben Davis was crowned under-19 biathlon champion

“He set out leading from the start and ran a remarkable race, pulling over 100m clear to win by 23 seconds. It was a phenomenal performance in his final biathlon for the school.

“He has been such a strong supporter of school sport from year seven and this was very well deserved in his final year.”

The under-16 boys trio of Joe Groves, Dan Sida and Harry Spencer then combined to good effect claim the team title for another British crown.

Groves finished ninth, with Sida 17th and Spencer 19th and Duncan added: “They have all worked hard together for the past five years, placing third two years ago, second last year and this year moving to top spot.

“Their enthusiasm for biathlon has been infectious. They have been fantastic role models and it was a very proud moment seeing them on top of the podium in possibly their final year as a team.”

The under-14 boys team of Nathan Banga (24th), Luke Bishop (52nd) and Chris Stephens (58th) also made it on to the podium to win bronze and Duncan said: “They always show brilliant team spirit whenever they compete, supporting each other and always giving their all for the badge.”

The under-12 boys finished 10th overall thanks to Jacob Robinson (41st), Patrick McLean-Tattan (73rd) and Caleb Shorter (85th), while the girls were 13th as Holly Bradley (76th), Emily Cooper (100th) and Laura Hipperson (128th) combined well.

“It was a great start for the year seven boys, who are all new to this sport with many hours spent in school clubs practising running at lunchtimes and swimming before lessons,” said Duncan.

“They show excellent commitment and it was a result to be proud of, while the girls are also new to the sport and have also spent many hours training at school and in local clubs in order to be in the best condition for the finals. Their hard work certainly paid off.”

Several other Coopers pupils competed in individual competitions to earn their GB ranking, including Billy Fox (22nd), Tobi Dunlea (25th), Francesca Thomas (34th), George Hill (36th), Mia Fursedonne (37th), Alfie Brown (39th), George Giles (47th), Maddie Sida (57th), Bradley James (61st) and David Akrofi (91st).

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