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Sheffield High's Philippa comes 5th in World Orienteering Championships

Fourteen year old Philippa Dakin from Sheffield High School has finished in 5th place in the World Schools Orienteering Championships which were held in Portugal recently.

She was selected to run along with four other girls of the same age in a squad of 40 from England against 21 countries from all around the world, including New Zealand, China and Mozambique: a total of 533 participants.

Like the Olympics, the Orienteering Championships, which took place at Vila Real de Santo Antonio on the Algarve, featured an opening and closing ceremonies with lots of dancing, singing and gymnastics and all the teams paraded through the streets of nearby Castro Marim.

The event was run over two days: the first being the middle distance event (2.5 kilometres with a 30 metre climb). Philippa finished in fifth in the long distance race (4.3 kilometres with a 260 metre climb), earning a podium place where she received a certificate and sunflower posy.

“I had a really good race, with no major mistakes, so I was hoping that I would do well, said Philippa as she spoke of her second race. “When I finished my run I was very pleased to see that I was fifth, but nervous that I might move down the order when more people finished. However, once everyone had completed the course, I was extremely happy to see that I had stayed in fifth place. The week was absolutely amazing and something I will definitely remember for the rest of my life.”

Philippa’s individual running times contributed towards the England team result of coming fourth overall, with a total time of 4 hours 56 seconds, just missing the podium by 52 seconds over the two days!

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