During half term, Sophie Mabbs travelled to Kusadasi in Turkey as part of the 32 strong British team taking part in the European Biathle Championships. A total of 15 nations competed in the event in much cooler conditions than expected which in theory was an advantage to the British competitors.
For the first time they held a mixed biathle relay with each competitor competing over half the distance of a normal biathle. Because the British team only had one boy of the same age group as Sophie, the coach had a very difficult decision to make as to which of the 3 girls should partner the Youth D boy. Sophie did take part but was partnered with the slowest Youth E boy who was 2 years younger than all the other male competitors. Sophie was determined to prove a point to the coach and could not have done any more by handing over in the lead,
but as expected her compatriot was unable to maintain the pace and they eventually came 5th with the other British partnership winning. So many parents commented afterwards how good Sophie was in hiding her own disappointment while at the same time consoling her heartbroken partner who felt he had let the team down. It was great to see her demonstrate such good sportsmanship.
Sophie went into the individual event in quite a confident mood after the relay as the majority of the competitors had taken part in the relay 2 days earlier. After a great start, Sophie found the early pace too quick and let too big a gap grow between her and the leaders on the first leg of the run. She gradually closed the gap on the sea swim and the second run, but not quick enough, to finish in 4th place.
With the other 2 British girls immediately behind her, the girls had done enough however to win the team gold for GB.