European Championship gold the latest success for talented Raissa Vickery
PUBLISHED: 09:25 21 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:45 21 September 2017
A schoolgirl from St Albans has been crowned European Champion - after winning three gold medals at the UIPM European Triathle and Biathle Championships.
Raissa Vickery, 10, who goes to St Albans High School for Girls, was competing for England in the U11 events at Setubal, Portugal.
And she came away with team golds in both the biathle and triathle, but more importantly the individual women’s crown in the triathle.
She almost made it four golds but had to settle for silver in the individual biathle.
The sports are in essence mini versions of modern pentathlon.
The triathle sees the competitors complete two circuits of shooting, using laser guns, swimming 50 metres in open water, then running 400m.
The biathle is similar, but here it is two 400m runs separated by a 50m swim.
She said: “From the beginning to the end I felt nervous, excited and proud all at once.
“The race was nerve racking at times but once I got ahead it was an amazing feeling.
“Crossing the line felt great and I felt like I achieved something special. I loved every second.”
Parents Michelle and James were naturally delighted saying: “As parents we are so happy for Raissa after all the work she has put in.
“To see her represent her country and be so happy doing it is the biggest reward possible for us.”
They added: “Her school have supported her in attending events and the amount of training and effort she does, even at this age, can’t be underestimated.
“She swims five times a week at City of St Albans Swimming Club, Phil Jenkins teaches her to shoot at Flamstead Pony Club, she runs at St Albans Athletic Club on a Tuesday and does combined Pentathlon training once a month with Dacorum Modern Pentathlon Club.
“Thanks to all of them for helping her achieve.”
These aren’t the only medals and trophies she has received this year.
She has also picked up three national titles and will be looking to add to the collection when she represents Team GB at the biathle and triathle World Championship in Spain.