OUTSTANDING 400m prospect Jake Ness of City of Salisbury Athletic and Running Club has jet-setted to America to represent Great Britain in the World Junior championships this week.
By far the biggest stage Ness has competed at during his up-and-coming career, the massive event in Eugene, Oregon, has drawn 1,500 of the world’s top young athletes from more than 170 nations around the globe. The GB team will comprise the country’s leading 46 athletes up to the age of 20 for the six-day biennial fixture, to be held from Tuesday to Sunday.
Earlier editions of the World Junior Championships have spawned some of the biggest track and field names from all over the world - including Usain Bolt, Haile Gebreselassie and Colin Jackson.
Little more than a month after his 17th birthday the Salisbury athlete will be among the youngest athletes to make it to the US venue.
Set against some of the world’s best, who are up to three years older, the athlete has been earmarked for the 4x400m relay.
As part of the high speed GB squad of six, his first task is to be picked for the fourman team. The heats are scheduled to start on the championships’ penultimate day, with the final on Sunday, July 27.
His form this season has been impressive, continuing a steady progression through local and regional titles and the UK rankings table. He produced his fastest ever 400m performance last month, with a brilliant 47.94sec in the England under-20s’ championships.
Ness is coached by his father Lee, who has led a programme of huge progress and success.