Battershill makes encouraging GB Under-20 debut at Manchester International Meet

Will Battershill

ERME Valley Harriers teenager Will Battershill produced an encouraging run against much older athletes on his Great Britain Under-20 debut.

Battershill was competing in the 2,000m steeplechase at the Manchester International Athletics Meet on Wednesday evening.

The competition saw England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the UK Armed Forces, Great Britain Under-20s and a combined British Athletic League/UK Women’s League team go head-to-head.

Battershill, who is only 18, finished sixth in a time of 5:51.23, which was just outside his personal best of 5:49.44. 

The race, which also included some guest runners, was won by 22-year-old Tom Horton of England in 5:36.25, with 27-year-old Ieuan Thomas of Wales second in 5:38.22 and British Athletic League’s 30-year-old Sam Farah third in 5:38.33.

Battershill is the English Schools’ champion and one of only two athletes in the UK at under-20 level to run under 5:55.00. His run on Wednesday was his second fastest time over that distance.

The youngster’s athletic and academic ability have secured him a place at Harvard University in America.

Battershill was not the only athlete from the region competing at Manchester.

City of Plymouth’s Jonathan Edwards represented Wales in the hammer throw.

Edwards finished fourth with a distance of 60.18m. His best this year is 64.37m. Taylor Campbell of England won the hammer with 71.60m.

Cornwall’s Peter Swan was fifth in the discus with 49.72m competing for Great Britain Under-20s.

Tavistock’s Tess Masselink had been named on the start list for the women’s 2,000m steeplechase as a guest but did not compete.

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