Great Yarmouth star Sophie McKinna through to final at European Athletics Championships

Sophie McKinna has qualified for the European Championships Athletics shot put final in Berlin. Pict

Sophie McKinna has qualified for the European Championships Athletics shot put final in Berlin. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Sophie McKinna is through to the women's shot put final at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin.

The former Lynn Grove High School pupil is competing at the major games in Berlin as part of a 102-strong squad of the best athletes in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

McKinna launched into action in the qualification rounds on day two's morning session, in a field of 23 shot putters, but only needed one throw to hit the required mark.

The rising British star, who recorded a personal best of 17.76m to take fifth at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, threw 17.24m in Berlin to make it to Wednesday's final.

'Bish, bash, bosh, it's all done with one throw,' said McKinna. 'It wasn't one of my greatest throws but it doesn't matter as it was over the qualification mark and I wanted to get it done so I could get back and recover.'

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The Great Yarmouth & District AC shot put talent is the current British women's number one and matched her personal best in June when she took the South of England title.

The British team led a three-pronged assault on the shot put competition and Amelia Strickler threw a personal best to qualify alongside McKinna but Divine Oladipo missed the cut.

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McKinna added: 'It makes a massive difference having three British shot putters on the team.

'We don't normally have one, let alone three, so it feels good to be part of a mini throwing squad as opposed to coming here as one of maybe only one or two throwers overall.

'And of all places, here in Germany they really appreciate their throwers and that makes a difference.'

Home favourite Christina Schwanitz threw the best effort of the day (18.83m) while three other competitors made it to 18 metres or over.

Norfolk-born British men's high jump No.1 Chris Baker, originally from Dereham, is also in the squad and begins his campaign on Thursday.

The 27-year-old won the British title in July and shared bronze at the Europeans in Amsterdam in 2016.

Elsewhere on day two of the athletics it was an excellent morning for the British with seven other athletes progressing to semi-finals and finals.

After the first three events of the decathlon Tim Duckworth lies fourth, while Kirsten McAslan, Martyn Rooney, Dwayne Cowan, Lynsey Sharp, Adelle Tracey, Shelayna Oskan-Clarke and Zak Seddon advanced on the track.

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