William pedals in bid for new medal

William Turnbull, left, receives one of his silver medals at the Sainsbury's 2014 School Games. Picture by PA Wire/Press Association Images.

William Turnbull, left, receives one of his silver medals at the Sainsbury's 2014 School Games. Picture by PA Wire/Press Association Images.

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Morpeth cyclist William Turnbull is targeting a medal at the Inter-Regional Road Championships later this month after claiming two silvers on the track at the Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games.

More than 1,600 talented schoolchildren descended on Manchester to compete in 12 sports across four action-packed days last week.

And Turnbull, representing England North East, was one of the athletes to impress at the National Cycling Centre.

The King Edward VI School pupil was narrowly beaten by Wales’ Rhys Britton in the sprint final before clocking a time of 34.799 seconds to finish behind England Eastern’s Jack Plumley in the 500m time trial.

Turnbull only started racing on the track two years ago and he believes his experiences at the Sainsbury’s School Games will stand him in good stead for the future.

“It feels really good to win two medals at the Sainsbury’s School Games although I would have preferred them to be gold,” said Turnbull, who is part of Marton Race Team.

“I did well at the national championships earlier this summer and I came here expecting good things so it’s good for me. I’m satisfied with the result. The quality of this event is great. I’m really happy just to take away a medal.

“This season’s kind of ended, but we’ve got the road inter-regionals in a couple of weeks, which should be good as well. It’s a similar sort of event to this so I’m hoping for good things there as well.”

The Sainsbury’s School Games is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and is delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, helping to launch the careers of many British athletes, including heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds.

Turnbull, who is part of the performance pathway at British Cycling, hopes he will be one of the next generation of School Games alumni to represent Great Britain at the highest level.

“Full-time cycling with Olympics and World Championships is my dream and I’m certainly working very hard at it,” he added. “British Cycling has been guiding me to where they think I should be and moulding me into what they want and I’m happy with that. They’re making a lot of high-quality riders at the moment so the future looks bright.”

The Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, was held in venues across Manchester from September 4-7. Visit www.2014schoolgames.co.uk for more information.