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Katie Kirk: I’m staying at home so I can focus on my sport

By Kerry McKittrick

Katie Kirk may be a future running champion but she’s proved it’s not her only field of talent.

Less than three weeks since she helped light the Olympic cauldron at the London 2012 opening ceremony, she has clocked an impressive academic score.

The 18-year-old from Holywood, Co Down, has achieved A* in home economics, A in biology and a B in English in A-Levels after taking her exams at Sullivan Upper.

That qualifies her for a place studying food quality, safety and nutrition at Queen's University, Belfast, in September 2013.

Katie has already achieved gold in the 4x400 relay at the European Junior Championships as part of the Great Britain team and while training at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast caught the eye of Dame Mary herself.

Northern Ireland's greatest Olympian chose Katie as our most promising athlete to light the cauldron along with six other Olympian hopefuls at the opening ceremony.

Katie intends to spend the next year working at a part-time retail job and concentrating on her sport before taking her deferred place at Queen's in 2013. “I'm staying for the family support so I can concentrate on my sport. My dad’s my coach so I can stay close and work towards the Olympics in Rio,” she said.

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