Athletics

Erme Valley’s GB international Battershill ready to take on Europe’s best in Italy

ERME Valley Harriers athlete Will Battershill will make his debut at the European Under-20 Championships in Italy on Friday evening.

Battershill, representing Great Britain, will compete in the heats of the 3,000m steeplechase in Grosseto.

The Harvard University student is ranked fifth fastest at under-20 level in Europe with a time of 8:55.84 minutes. However, there are a lot of athletes who have run around the nine minute mark in the competition.

To reach Sunday’s final, Battershill will need to finish in the top five in his heat or be one of five fastest losers from two races.

The former Ivybridge Community College pupil does find himself in the fastest heat.

He will run in heat one, which includes Europe’s quickest under-20 steeplechaser by a long way, Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigsten.

Ingebrigsten has run 8:26.81, which puts him in the world’s top 50 seniors.

Fellow Norwegian, Thomas Jefferson Byrkjeland, who has run 8:52.85, is also in Battershill’s heat as one of four sub-nine minute athletes.

The second heat does include France’s Louis Gilavert, who is the second fastest in Europe at under-20 level with a time of 8:38.84.

Battershill’s race is due off at 5.50pm (BST). The final would be on Sunday at 4.55pm.

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