Brilliant Katie Hughes, from Leek, has become World Number One for Biathlon at the 17 and under age level. The Sixth Form student at the King’s School in Macclesfield has just been notified of her global number one ranking after producing times of 2 minutes 13 seconds for a 200 metre swim and 5 minutes 13 seconds for the mile run.
Katie used to train with her older sister Rebecca, who left King’s last year to go up to Cambridge University, and the gifted girls could often be seen running together in the hills in and around Leek and Macclesfield, and round the Tittesworth Reservoir. Katie, who is two years younger, has achieved this magnificent feat very much on her own by training every day, come rain or shine, snow or sun, at Satellites Swimming Club in Macclesfield and The Staffordshire and Moorlands Running Club.
Older sister Rebecca, 19, won the under-20 national sprint distance triathlon championships in 2014 and came third in the National Schools’ Biathlon Championships in the Olympic Park in the same year and has swum the Channel in the Oxford Vs Cambridge varsity relay match this year. Even these superb achievements don’t compare with young Katie.
Katie said: “I really enjoy running with Rebecca and there is some sibling rivalry but I am focusing more on my athletics and now, perhaps, Rebecca is more into her studies of Law at Cambridge”.
She added with a smile “We are not too sure where this athletic ability has come from; mum and dad have never been into sport at all and, frankly, it’s got us all mystified”.
Now Katie, who would like to study Sports Science at university, has her sights firmly set on one day making the Great Britain Pentathlon team and competing in the Olympics.
“I train for two to two and a half hours every day, probably half of that is in the pool with a lot of running as well, but I am also shooting and fencing more and more and want to get started on my equestrianism as well”.
Principal of the King’s Sixth Form Dr Julie Cocker said: “To achieve a world number one ranking in a sport with such growing international popularity is incredible. Katie is extraordinarily hard-working and a naturally very talented athlete and we, like her parents, are very proud of her.”