17th July 2019


Commonwealth Youth Games discus silver medallist James Tomlinson (coach: Paul Jensen; club: Pembrokeshire) and 2016 European U18 long jump champion Holly Mills (Laura Turner-Alleyne; Andover) will captain the British team at the European Under-20 Championships in Boras, Sweden, from July 18-21.

Both athletes, who are part of the British Athletics Futures Academy Programme, have a strong pedigree of competing against the best athletes on the world stage since making their British debuts in 2016 and have been selected to lead the team by Team Leader, Trevor Painter.

Having switched back to her combined events roots at the start of the season, Mills moved to third on the all-time British rankings for the indoor pentathlon above Jessica Ennis-Hill and Niamh Emerson, and in the first heptathlon of her career at the European U20 trials in Bedford, she moved up to sixth on the all-time British junior list.

The Andover athlete will double up and compete in the long jump, the event she claimed European U18 gold in back in 2016 and arrives at the Championships ranked number three in Europe, having set a personal best mark of 6.51m in Mannheim.

British U18 discus record holder Tomlinson has enjoyed a strong start to the season, setting two new personal best marks, the most recent of which saw him break the 60.00m mark as he finished second in Halle Throws in June.

He will earn his 13th British vest out in Boras, having gained his first at the European U18 Championships in 2016, where he finished sixth.

Great Britain & Northern Ireland have not won a women’s heptathlon at the European U20 Championships since 2005, when Ennis-Hill took the crown, while Tomlinson will hope to become the first British thrower since 1997 to take a men’s discus title.

Holly Mills said: “It’s an amazing honour to be named captain out of all these amazing athletes. From where I was at last year, to be able to come back to this point and now to be named captain of the team is really fantastic.

“We both captained the team at Loughborough International and I feel that has served as a really good stepping stone for this championship and I’m really excited to be one of the leaders of such a great team.”

James Tomlinson added: “Last year was a real roller-coaster year for me so to come back this year and be named captain of the biggest junior team that we’ve ever had is fantastic and you can’t ask for much more than that.

“You know that when it’s you who gets chosen there’s that extra expectation. I remember getting my first vest back in Tbilisi in 2016 and to go from then until leading the team at these championships, you can’t ask for much more than that.”

Team leader Trevor Painter said: “I’m thrilled to name Holly and James as co-captains of the British team for the European Under-20 Championships. Despite only being 19-years-old, both have already accumulated a mass of experience on the international stage.

“Both set an exemplary standard when they were named as captains of the British team for the Loughborough International earlier in the year and I have no doubt they will continue to show maturity beyond their years in leading this team.”