Louisa James clinched her first major senior medal at the British Athletics UK Championships in Birmingham.
The Sedlescombe-based athlete came third in the women’s hammer with a longest throw of 62.30m, eclipsing her previous personal best by a metre-and-a-half.
James is coached by her father Ron, who said: “Four of the girls going to the Commonwealth Games she beat that day. It was a good result, but over the next few competitions I’m hoping to see her throw a lot further.”
Although only 19 at the time of the competition, James was leading after the first two rounds before British champion Sophie Hitchon (Blackburn) came through to win with 65.56m.
James was on course for silver until Welsh number one Carys Parry (Rhondda/Trafford) overtook her on the final throw with 63.33m.
The event doubled up as the English Championships and James, who represents Shaftesbury Barnet first claim and Hastings AC second claim, took silver in that. She also won the South of England AA U20/Senior Championships last month.
“We’ve been working towards this progression,” added Ron James. “We changed quite a few things in January - that’s the reason why we didn’t want to think about the Commonwealth Games - but now it’s starting to fall into place.”
James has now finished her studies at Sussex Coast College Hastings and will be heading to Brighton University in September after turning down at least a dozen offers to go to the United States.