Sophie to lead Team GB against Europe’s best

Britain's Sophie Hitchon celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the women's hammer throw final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Britain's Sophie Hitchon celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the women's hammer throw final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Sophie Hitchon leads a developmental Great Britain squad in this weekend’s European Athletics Team Championships in Lille Métropole.

The Rio 2016 Olympic hammer bronze medalist headlines a 56-strong squad, which boasts an blend of promising young talent and more experienced competitors for the event, which starts tomorrow, and runs until Sunday.

With limited opportunities for field athletes to compete against high-profile competitors ahead of the home World Championships this summer the Lille Métropole championships will provide the perfect occasion to nurture up and coming talent.

British Athletics performance director Neil Black heralded the youthful squad selection and expected a significant number of them to be on the scene in years to come.

“Many of these athletes should be in the mix for Tokyo 2020 and beyond in 2024. So it will be interesting to see where they stand against some of Europe’s top names,” he said.

“With the British Team Trials and qualification for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London taking place the following weekend in Birmingham, it has allowed us the somewhat unique opportunity to choose a largely developmental team.

“Obviously we still want to see a great British team performance in France, but we also need to give our most experienced athletes the best possible build-up going into a home World Championships..