A BURGATE sixth form student has been named the second fastest under-18 in Europe in the 400m - and he’s off to America to represent Great Britain this weekend.
Jake Ness, 17, took on men aged up to 23 at the Bedford International Games, and won his grouping with a time of 47.98 seconds.
He only needs to shave 0.4 of a second off that time to be in the top ten runners in the world.
To compete in the games, a senior men’s event, Jake, who is a member of City of Salisbury athletics club and lives in the city, had to gain the entry time of 49 seconds, which he successfully ran the week before.
He was in the B string race, entering as one of the slowest people, but he won his race, and his time put him fourth overall in the B string race, sixth in the UK for the under-20 age group and second under-18 in Europe.
He is currently 23rd in the Junior European rankings, and with a year still left to reach the top he is optimistic about his prospects.
He said: “I would only have to drop 0.4 seconds to become top 10 in the world under-18 rankings, which I currently see as feasible.”
Jake has just completed AS levels in maths, biology, physics and PE, and will start A-levels in September.
He’s hoping to go to America on a sports scholarship to study sports therapy and ultimately become a physio, and this Sunday, to give him a taste of the land across the pond, he is flying out to represent the UK at the World Juniors in the 4x400 relay.
He also hopes to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
He said: “I’ve been to the Bedford games a few times but never really achieved what I knew I could do.
“I was hoping for good run – I knew I had it in me. I was relieved I had finally done as well as I knew I could.”