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The World At His Feet
Monday 5th October 2015 @ 11:29 by Mark Phillip

A 12-year-old athlete returned from the World Biathle Championships last month with a gold and silver medal.

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Having excelled during the British Biathle Championships in August, Sale Harriers runner Charlie Hobson was selected to represent Great Britain in Batumi, Georgia.

The event took place on Sunday 20th September and marked his first world championships, yet Charlie – who attends St Damian’s Science College, Ashton – appeared unphased by the magnitude of the challenge.

In fact, he took the transition in his stride, finishing second in the final of the Boys Youth D Age group after qualifying through a tough semi-final.

Only the top four competitors in the event were guaranteed automatic qualification to the final, thus compounding Charlies phenomenal achievement.

As a Sale Harriers runner, Charlie is accustomed to the physical demands of competing in long distance running events.

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The youngster has accumulated a long list of running achievements over the past few years, which include his titles as North West Biathlon Champion and the Tameside Schools 50 metre Freestyle champion.

It will therefore come as no surprise that the fitness freak donned his racesuit for the second time in a day – this time competing in a team event.

Despite coming up against some of the finest athletes in the world, the Great Britain squad managed to claim a gold medal, thus making their mark on the seaside city.

Upon returning to England, Charlie spoke to Reporter Sport and detailed his pride in representing Great Britain. He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of competing in my first major international championship against the best athletes from all over the globe.

“It was brilliant to return home with a silver and gold medal around my neck, and I hope that I’ll be able to build on this in the future.”

As running is only one component of the biathlon event, Charlie has been taking the plunge in recent months to aid his swimming technique.

A member of Active Tameside Tri-Guru Club, Charlie has received great help and support from head coach Kath Taylor.

The youngster had nothing but praise for his coaches, adding: “I’d like to thank my coaches and training partners for all the support they gave me before the event, and I’d also like to say a big thanks to my family and friends for the support they offered.”

Not one to stray too far from a competition, Charlie will soon be starting his winter training with Sale Harriers and Tameside Tri Guru Club.

In a bid to improve his all-round performance, the former Huddersfield Town footballer will also be spending the next few months learning to ride a triathlon bike.

Speaking to Reporter Sport, Charlie’s father, Ian said: “Like everyone connected with Charlie, I’m made up that he’s returned from the World Championships with a gold and silver medal.
“I’ve been really pleased with the way he’s conducted himself over the past few months and it’s great to see that his efforts are being rewarded.”