Rising star Anna Smith has been selected to represent England in the 1,500m at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
Smith, of Southwell, ran 1,500m in a time of 4mins 22.51secs at the British Millers Club Grand Prix in Sport City, Manchester, and impressed selectors with her performance against older athletes in a 1500m race at the Bedford International Athletic Stadium, where she came fourth.
She joins a squad of 72 young athletes who will represent their country and follow in the footsteps of athletes such as Jessica Ennis-Hill and gymnast Beth Tweddle.
Middle-distance runner Smith has been with Newark Athletic Club for three years.
She will fly out to The Bahamas a week today and is due to compete in the 1,500m final a week on Sunday.
Smith said: “It is amazing to be selected. It is a fantastic team of athletes and I’m looking forward to being able to meet all those amazing athletes who are going with us.
“It will be an incredible feeling to be competing there and to meet all the athletes from around the world.”
Smith said she would like to become a professional athlete and was looking forward to the experience of competing at a high-profile tournament.
“It will be an interesting experience and I will never turn down the opportunity of representing my country,” she said.
Ennis-hill a role model
Smith, who is joining Mansfield Athletic Club, previously represented England at a schools international in Port Talbot, Wales, in March.
She said she was inspired by European, World and Olympic champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill.
“She is a big role model and I admire her attitude towards training and competing and all of her accolades,” she said.
Other notable athletes in Smith’s squad include two-time national junior boxing champion Ivan Price, European Youth Championships long jump gold medallist Holly Mills and beach volleyball under-20 British champions Joaquin and Javier Bello.