A Liverpool student has won two under 17 titles at the 2019 England Athletics Championships.
Henry Nwoke, a Year 11 student at The Academy of St Nicholas won the 200m title emphatically in a truly special time of 21.85 seconds.
This gives Henry the 12th fastest ever time for the under 17 UK age group and 8th in the world.
His 60m title win, in a new personal best (PB) of 6.91s, was the 15th fastest ever time in the UK for his age group.
Held at the Sheffield English Institute of Sport and organised by England Athletics, the event brought together some of the country’s top track and field talent across a range of age groups.
In the 60m final, Henry’s start wasn’t the best. Halfway down the 60m straight he had a narrow lead which he fought with every meter to keep as he crossed the finish line in first place.
On the second day of the Championships, the 200m heats and semi-finals took place with Henry running 22.74s and 22.32s. He drew lane 5 in the final with the second fastest runner in the country on the outside of him in lane 6.
Down the back straight it was neck and neck between the two runners, but coming up and around the top bend Henry started to show his class, keeping his form and taking a lead which he wouldn’t let up.
Reflecting on his wins, Henry Nwoke said: “I was really nervous going into the championships, as it was my first ever indoor nationals, but I knew I had trained really well and the times I had ran in previous races gave me confidence.
“The weekend itself was a challenge mentally and physically, but one I really enjoyed. Winning these national championships has shown me that hard work really does pay off. I can’t thank Mr Sweeney enough, I have learned so much in the 9 months I have been training, we make a great team.”
Having only started training for athletics in June 2018, 16 year old Henry has made rapid progress in every sense of the word.
His maths teacher at The Academy of St Nicholas, Michael Sweeney, who is also a coach at Liverpool Harriers, saw his potential and started to train him.
Coach Michael Sweeney said: “In such a short time Henry has improved so much. In training we have changed his running style completely, mastered the art of block starts and he’s put in the hard yards of winter training, always with a smile on his face.
“He asks me every session about his running style, ever the perfectionist. He goes home and puts in the research in to top level sprinting and brings me videos and questions regularly, he is a coach’s dream!
“Having competed at an international level myself, and coached athletes to this standard previously, he makes the role so much easier. Henry’s future is very bright.”