07 July 2009
Young stars of British athletics will compete for the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland team at the World Youth Championships in Bressanone, Italy this week at an event which will offer many of them their first taste of high level competition.
With GB & NI World Youth medallist predecessors such as Harry Aikines- Aryteety, Craig Pickering, Steve Lewis and Ashlee Nelson who have gone on to represent Team GB at the Beijing Olympics, this competition is an early taste of the levels an athlete would need to reach senior success.
Sprinter Jodie Williams (Herts Phoenix), selected for the 100m and 200m, is the youngest member of the team but is favoured to emulate Aikines- Aryteety’s sprint double title from the 2005 event in Morocco.
GB U18 heptathlon record holder Katrina Johnson-Thompson (Liverpool Harriers) is also set to impress, she has scored 5481 points this year.
Senior indoor triple jump medallist Ben Williams (Stoke), who returned from injury at the trials in Bedford will hope for a podium place along with sprint hurdler Jack Meredith (Liverpool Harriers) who made a solid start to the 2009 season during his age group move.
Oriel Hardman and Nathan Wake will be in line for the finals of the 800m and 400m while Shaunna Thompson (Sale), who ran against Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu earlier in the season will compete in the 100m and 200m.
Kevin Tyler, UKA Head of Coaching and Development, is working to improve the strategy and structure of coaching in the UK which will directly impact athletes at this level.
He said: “This competition will provide young GB athletes with a positive early experience at an international competition, allowing them to participate under the unique conditions of a multinational event and aiding their development towards senior level success.”