THREE young athletes have returned home after representing Great Britain with distinction at the European Biathle Championships.

Ponteland’s Joseph Anderson, who competed in the U16 World Championships in Egypt last year, moved up a level to U17 this time around in Madeira, Portugal.

And he scooped two individual medals, as well as helping the GB boys’ team to win gold.

Anderson won silver in the mixed relay event alongside Team GB partner Lauren Wood. The pair ran an impressive race to clinch their silver medals with a combined time of 12m 15.75s.

He also excelled in the individual event, where participants were challenged to a 1,200m run, a 200m swim, and another 1,200m run.

Anderson won his semi-final to qualify for the last 16, which was made up of athletes from across Europe.

He put in a strong performance and won bronze with a new personal best time of 10m 21.89s, and this was crucial in helping the boys team win gold overall.

Anderson, who will now prepare for next month’s British Championship, was the the youngest in his age group, which makes his performances all the more impressive.

Siblings Ralph and Tabitha Robson, of Slaley, also impressed in Madeira.

Ralph, who is a pupil at Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School, competed in the U15 boys and qualified from the heats to reach the last 16, before finishing 11th in the final with a time of 7m 7.73s.

Tabitha, who attends St Joseph’s Middle School in Hexham, finished seventh in her event in a time of 4m 5s.

The youngsters all competed in Madeira after qualifying via a national event in Cheltenham.