Niamh Emerson (coach: David Feeney) will headline a strong British Athletics team for the inaugural European Youth Championships which takes place in Georgia, Tbilisi on 14-17 July.
Earlier this month, Emerson recorded a huge personal best of 5,815 points eclipsing the British heptathlon youth record previously held by Olympic finalist Katarina Johnson-Thompson. Like Johnson-Thompson, the 17 year old is developing into a world-class high jumper after winning the Loughborough International with a clearance of 1.89m, while also winning bronze at last weekend’s British Championships in Birmingham.
Also starring in the multi-events is Sam Talbot (Eldon Lake), who in May set a new British youth record score of 7035 points in Bedford and will have his sights set on continuing his meteoric rise in the 10 discipline event.
The team will also boast the top two ranked 1500m athletes in the age group with Sabrina Sinha (Peter Mullervy) and Erin Wallace (Dudley Walker) leading British hopes. Sinha will make her third championship appearance in a British vest after competing at the IAAF World Youth Championships and European Cross Country Championships last year, while Wallace will make her international debut.
Jake Norris (Paul Dickenson) is another athlete in impressive form with last year’s World Youth hammer finalist adding nearly four metres to his lifetime best in 2016 to take the teenager to second in the European youth rankings. Norris’ throw of 78.54m, a British youth record also came at the Loughborough International and will head to Tbilisi full of confidence as he aims to get amongst the medal positions.
George Mills (Joanne Day) whose dad, Danny was capped 19 times by England football team will continue his international exploits after representing England at the Commonwealth Youth Games last year. With only three-hundredths of a second separating the top four in Europe in the age group over 800m, Mills and teammate Markhim Lonsdale (David Lowes) will both be looking to dethrone the two Italian athletes, who currently occupy the top of the rankings.
Holly Mills (James Coney) shared the podium with two Rio Olympians on the weekend after finishing in the bronze medal position at the British Championships behind Shara Proctor and Jazmin Sawyers. Mills’ jump of 6.23m was just six centimetres off her personal best and the eighth occasion she has exceeded the qualifying standard of six metres.
Also in the field is Jude Bright-Davies (David Johnson), who in jumping a career best of 15.39m saw him win the England Athletics U20 title and propel the 17 year old to second in the European youth rankings.
There will also be medal prospects in the women’s high jump with second and third ranked Abby Ward (Ian Hill) and Ada’Ora Chigbo (Fuzz Caan) both keen to make their mark in the Georgian capital.
Team leader Scott Grace said: “The team is really looking forward to mixing it with the best in Europe next month. It is a great opportunity for the athletes chosen to make a real impression on the international stage and I’m confident that with the strength in depth, we can deliver some really strong performances out in Tbilisi.”
The British Athletics team for the European Athletics Youth Championships, Tbilisi, Georgia, 14-17 July:
Jona Efoloko (John Smith)
Joseph Massimo (Stephen King)
Ellis Greatrex (Claudio Albanese)
George Mills (Joanne Day)
Markhim Lonsdale (David Lowes)
Jake Heyward (Paul Darney)
Isaac Akers (Bill Boyd)
Alasdair Kinloch (Mark Hookway)
Ethan Akanni (Tony Jarrett)
Jason Nicholson (Janice Kaufman)
Alastair Chalmers (Dale Garland)
Alex Knibbs (Julie Feeney)
George Groom (Stephen Murphy)
Sam Talbot (Eldon Lake)
James Tomlinson (Paul Jensen)
Jake Norris (Paul Dickenson)
Joel Khan (Deidre Elmhirst)
Daniel Bainbridge (David Parker)
Jude Bright-Davies (David Johnson)
Alisha Rees (Willy Russell)
Isabelle Boffey (Douglas Stone)
Anna Burt (Kevin Brunt)
Sabrina Sinha (Peter Mullervy)
Erin Wallace (Dudley Walker)
Kathleen Faes (Nikolaas Faes)
Lucy Pygott (Mick Woods)
5000m Race Walk
Sophie Lewis-Ward (Noel Carmody)
Niamh Emerson (David Feeney)
Ada’Ora Chigbo (Ken Holmes)
Abby Ward (Ian Hill)
Eleanor Broome (Ian Roberts)
Holly Mills (James Coney)
Jessica Robinson (Ellie Spain)