A fifteen-year-old boy triumphed at his debut appearance one of the biggest athletic regional games in the country.

James Petty, a year 10 student from Epping St John’s School on Bury Lane, Epping, won gold and silver medals last weekend.

The young competitor who represented Harlow Athletics Club came first in the U17 400m at the Eastern Counties Championships in Cambridge on Sunday, June 30.

He was also selected to run for Harlow in the Essex County Relay Championships Harlow Athletics in the U20 and U23 race due to not enough runners to complete the team.

The four-piece won silver for their hard efforts, which took place on Friday, June 28.

James’ father, David Petty, said: “He has progressed quite a lot this year, this is his first outdoor games he has took part in, we are really pleased.

“Harlow Athletics Club have really started to move up the table ranking in the last couple of weeks on a county level and they starting to get more recognised on the national side of things as well.”

The 15-year-old started competing when he was just 11 and is currently ranked 11th in the national ranking of Year 10 athletes in the whole the UK.

When asked if James is considering a career in sports, Mr Petty said: “He is currently doing PE as part of his GCSE’s, however, he is quite keen on the science side of things.”