Emily Williams has achieved one of her main goals after her selection was confirmed for a first full Great Britain vest.
Northampton athlete Williams will be representing Great Britain & Northern Ireland in the European Athletics U18 Championships in Gyor, Hungary next week (July 5-8).
The Kettering Harriers AC youngster was selected for the 1500m, an event she is ranked No1 in the UK for, and she will battle against the very best athletes from Europe.
The 16-year-old, who is currently ranked third in Europe in the U18 age category, will compete in her first international event in a GB vest and she is hoping this experience will kick-start her junior international career.
“I am immensely pleased to have been selected to represent GB,” said Williams, who goes to Northampton School for Girls. “At the moment it all feels surreal and I can’t quite believe it.
“I am so excited, and I would like to thank my coach (Shane Smith) and parents for everything they do, and also NSG for their terrific support over the past few years.”
The European Athletics U18 Championships will see almost 1,000 athletes from 48 member federations all over Europe competing in the second bi-annual championship, which saw GB lead the medal table in the inaugural championship held in Tbilisi in Georgia.
With a 33-strong GB team announced, UK Athletics will be hoping for more success in a competition which gives younger athletes a taste of full international competition.
With 50 athletes reaching the qualifying standards set by UK athletics, Williams has done tremendously well to make the team.
And coach Smith was delighted with his student’s selection.
Smith said: “Emily has been incredibly consistent over the past few years, and is the only athlete who has set qualification times in both the 800m and 1500m so I am not too surprised she has been selected for her first full international GB vest.
“I’m incredibly proud to be helping Emily to achieve the success she richly deserves and it shows if you’re prepared to work hard anything can happen”.
Williams had her last race before the championships, competing at the latest BMC Grand Prix at Loughborough and she produced another fine performance just outside of her PB in the 800m ‘A’ race.
She goes into the championship in fine form, looking to test herself against the best in Europe.
Williams’ proud parents, Rosie and Rodney, will be joining her coach to support her in Hungary, along with Hungarian native and middle-distance squad training partner, Kristina Kurutcz.