Emma Whitaker is hoping her performance at the modern pentathlon will be the springboard to success in the future.
The Bolton-le-Sands athlete was part of three-strong woman team which claimed a team bronze medal at the World Under-19s Championship, in Bulgaria.
Whitaker, who is aged 18, combined with Annabel Denton, of Plymouth, and Bath’s Sarah Wilson to finish third on the podium.
Individually, the 18-year-old surprised herself by reaching the final – eventually earning a very respectable 15th place.
Denton led the team home, finishing ninth individually with Wilson in 13th. Also part of the team, but not part of the medal winners was Georgina Mitchell, who came 19th.
Whitaker, who attended Oueen Elizabeth School, in Kirkby Lonsdale, first began riding ponies at seven-years-old, which led her to compete in the tetrathlon.
Four years later , she took up fencing and over the last four years has been competing in youth competitions across the country and in Europe.
“It was really good fun,” said Whitaker when recalling her success in Bulgaria.
“I managed to make the final which was very pleasing because I actually did not expect to do that.
“There was 80 athletes in the competition and the top 36 went in to the final.
“I managed to finish 15th which I was very happy about. I did not expect that because I had my A-Levels exams this year and obviously they came first. I am really proud and it’s nice to think that I am in the top 15 in the world in my age category.”
Whitaker is a member of Lancaster and Morecambe Athletics Club, swims for Carnforth Otters and fences at Manchester Fencing Club.
The youngster – who would love to follow in the footsteps of fellow Lancasterian and former Olympic silver medal winner Samantha Murray – is hoping to study sports performance at the University of Bath.