ATHLETICS: CRAIG France of Great Sutton was crowned English Schools' 100m hurdles champion at Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield, on Saturday to ensure that he holds national titles both north and south of the border.
Craig, 16, who has taken Scottish nationality, courtesy of his mum, Diane, now holds the Scottish Indoor 60m hurdles title and an English Schools' Championship gold medal.
He won the second of three heats in the fastest qualifying time of 13.07 seconds to earn his place in the intermediate boys' final, and although he clipped the last hurdle in the final, he reached the finishing line in a new personal-best time of 13.0 seconds.
The Whitby High School student is now preparing for his first English Schools' international appearance this Saturday in a home international fixture against Scotland, Northern Ireland, and hosts Wales at Cardiff.
Although Craig has pledged his allegiance to the Scots, he will still represent his country of birth in schools' competition.
Craig, who is a member of Liverpool Harriers AC and trains under the guidance of hurdles coach Pat Spencer, started his athletics in Ellesmere Port with West Cheshire AC and is grateful to several different people for his progress in the sport.
He said: 'I'd like to thank Eddie Gore for getting me started in athletics, all my friends at West Cheshire AC, and, of course, Pat Spencer and my current training group.
'This was my third appearance in the English Schools' Championships, but I didn't ever think I was going to make it.
'I picked up a foot injury about three weeks ago and I was really struggling, then I was having problems with a tight calf after my qualifying heat on Friday. I got over the problem but I still can't believe I've won - this is by far my biggest win so far.'
Craig is now a member of the Bank of Scotland hurdles squad, and he is top of the Scottish sprint hurdles ranking lists for his age, and seventh in the all-time age-group Scottish list.
Nicola Gore (Whitby High), hit 10.20m for seventh spot in the senior girls shot event at the Don Valley Stadium and Sarah Devoy (Sutton High) cleared 1.49m for 20th position in the inter-girls' high jump.