ERME Valley Harriers’ Will Battershill has been selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia.
Battershill will compete for his country in the 2,000m steeplechase at the competition which will take place between July 15-19.
However, the 17-year-old Ivybridge Community College pupil will miss the English Schools’ Track and Field Championships in Gateshead due to his selection.
Battershill’s best time this season for the event is 5:51.57, which is more than three seconds inside the world qualifying time.
Team leader Alan Richardson said: “We have a really promising team heading to Cali and I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform on the world stage in this age-group.
“The athletes selected show potential to be competitive at world level and I am sure they will perform excellently as well as using this championship as a springboard to longer term senior success.”
Steeplechase is dominated by Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes and Battershill will be up against them in Colombia. Kenya have eight athletes inside the world’s top 10 at youth level, with Ethiopia filling the other two spots.
Battershill has represented England Schools before but this will be his first time he has earned Great Britain honours.
His call-up has delighted everyone at his club Erme Valley Harriers.
Chairman Paul Ross said: “Will will be flying the flag for the club. His selection is a really big thing.
“He has come through the club from a junior athlete to an international. This will be another level of competition for him, but what a great chance to run against the best in the world at his age.”
Ross believes Battershill’s selection will offer extra motivation to all the other youngsters at the Ivybridge-based club.