Sophie Hitchon and Holly Bleasdale are undoubtedly two of the most talented athletes ever to come from our region, but they also possess that extra ingredient that makes them champions.
The two Blackburn Harriers return home from Canada this week with their medals from the World Junior Championships after Hitchon struck gold in the hammer throw and Bleasdale took bronze in the pole vault.
Hitchon, who was the Great Britain women’s Team Captain, converted potential silver into gold on her very last throw, breaking her own UK U20 record in the process.
Exactly 12 months earlier she had also broken the UK record to take bronze in the European Junior Championships and on both occasions she was only ranked fourth.
Meanwhile Bleasdale, still a relative novice in the vault, has fought back from a serious injury sustained last year when she broke her foot on take-off during the English Schools’ Championships.
Nobody can tell whether they will have successful senior careers, maybe starting with the 2012 Olympics in London, but the portents are good for two of the most dedicated and determined athletes in the business.