A Manx-born junior athlete has struck triple gold in the Western Australia State Championships.
In the process, 16-year-old Caitlin Courtie has set a triple jump mark which beats a senior Isle of Man record established 25 years ago.
Caitlin went into the under-17 individual section of the championships, held in Perth, after already having won a gold and silver medal in the 4×100 and 4×400 metres relays a few weeks earlier when she was selected to represent her district of Hammersley.
She then added to her medal tally by winning both the long jump and triple jump to give her three golds and a silver. For good measure she also reached the final of the individual 100 and 200 metres events, finishing fifth in both.
But it was the triple jump which gave Caitlin probably her greatest triumph. She started out with a jump of 10 metres 84 centimetres, which she increased to 10.94 on her second attempt.
Going into the final round she led by a mere five centimetres but saved the best for last, producing a massive personal best of 11m 8cm to win the competition by a huge margin of 25cm.
The previous junior and senior Manx records respectively stand at 10m 14cm, set in 2008, and 10.89, established by well-known Manx athlete Cheryl Done in 1995.
Family members have been in touch with the Isle of Man Athletics Association records website to see if Caitlin’s mark will count as a Manx record as it was established off-island.
It almost certainly meets the criteria, but official ratification is awaited.
The long jump was a much tighter affair before Caitlin emerged victorious at the Western Australia Sports Stadium, providing her with the third gold medal of the meeting.
Her winning leap of five metres and 18 centimetres was achieved on her third attempt out of four, giving her victory by a margin of five centimetres.
For the record, she ran the 100 metres final in 13.57 seconds and the 200m in 27.39s – both of which were personal bests.
Caitlin had previously represented Western Australia at gymnastics in the Australian National Championships. Initially, she had divided her time between gymnastics and athletics.
But a stress fracture of the back put paid to her gymnastics career and, after a long period of recuperation, she turned exclusively to athletics. This was after a five-year gap from the sport.
Caitlin was educated at Ballacottier School in Douglas before emigrating, at the age of six, with her family to Australia where they live at Iluka in Perth.
Her parents, Carl and Alison, are both former Isle of Man badminton champions while brother Ryan, who has now returned to the island to live and work, was also a Western Australia State champion – at table tennis.