Hemel Hempstead’s Jessica Stretton has won an archery gold at the IWAS World Junior Games in Stoke Mandeville on her international debut.
The 14-year-old, who is on GB Archery’s performance pathway to the Paralympics, claimed her first ever international gold medal at her first attempt.
She said “It really hasn’t sunk in quite yet, but it just feels brilliant to be the champion.”
Stretton started the morning in roaring form, and at the first interval she found out she had already recorded a personal best.
With nearly three hours of archery remaining, the Longdean School pupil had to keep the composure required of a world class athlete.
“To concentrate I just blocked everything out around me and focused on the target and the task in hand of shooting,” she said.
Stretton first found archery through WheelPower’s Junior Sports programme at Stoke Mandeville Stadium and was a successful application to the charity’s Wheel Appeal which gave her the equipment needed to compete.
GB’s chef de mission for the IWAS Games, Stewart Jeeves, said: “Jessica should be immensely proud of her performance here at Stoke Mandeville, especially the way she managed to hold her nerve in the final few rounds. “
“Through her involvement with WheelPower’s junior sport programme she has found a sport that she is very talented at.
“By applying the level of dedication to training that she does she has a very bright future ahead of her.”