St Albans’ George Groom now studying for European Athletics Championship

St Columba student George Groom has been selected for Great Britain at the European Junior Champions

St Columba student George Groom has been selected for Great Britain at the European Junior Championship - Credit: Archant

A student from St Albans has been selected to represent Great Britain in the European Youth Athletics Championship – despite being in the middle of his GCSE exams.

George Groom, from St Columba’s College, ran a full eight seconds under the U18 qualification standard for the 2000m steeplechase at a British Athletics development race at the begining of June.

It was enough to impress the selectors who picked him for the championships, to be held in Tiblisi, Georgia, starting next week.

The 16-year-old, former national Cross Country champion, had endured a disappointing winter having suffered with severe anaemia, so was looking to the summer season to make amends.

He finished his qualifying run at Milton Keynes in a time of five minutes 57.08 seconds, which puts himin the top 10 in the world.

He has been coached since the age of 11 by Stephen Murphy, head of physical education at St Columba’s and a former international steeplechaser himself.

Murphy said: “This is a young man who showed himself very early on in PE lessons as a hardworking individual, and fast forward four years and he’s one of the top ranked athletes not only in the country but also the world.

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“He is also a role model to the students in the school in how to mix academic and sporting aspirations”.