JENNA Blundell received an early 18th birthday present as she celebrated her first overseas victory in Tenerife at the weekend.

The Staverton junior international headed to the Spanish island for a heptathlon competition, hoping to achieve the qualifying standard to put her in contention to win a place in the Great Britain team for the European U20 Championships in Sweden.

Sadly, she fell short in that ambition, but the competition was far from disappointing as she set a new overall points score of 5,195 to go fifth in the UK rankings as well as setting three personal bests in the 200m (24.91secs), 800m (2:23.95) and shot (10.95m).

More than that, it gave Blundell, who turned 18 on Wednesday, a glimpse of life as an international athlete and the skills she will need to develop if she is to advance her career.

Coach Julie Alexander said: “It wasn’t the points score we were hoping for but overall I was very pleased with her performance especially the three individual personal bests.

“You have to bear in mind that Jenna lost almost three weeks of full training after suffering the adductor injury the week before the England Championships and that has cost her.

“But she still came here and won the U20 women’s competition which earned her a nice trophy and winner’s cheque.

“Plus, it was such a great experience for her to compete abroad in a different environment and, to be honest, she did suffer in the heat which was over 30C.

“That was a shock to her and I think she suffered from a bit of heat exhaustion at one stage.

“But the organisers really looked after her and it was a fabulous experience. I am sure we will go back next year.”

Blundell is unlikely to face similar conditions at the South West Schools’ Championships in Exeter on Saturday or at the England Championships the following weekend, when she will revert to the 100m hurdles for which she is in with a chance of making the podium.