Mansfield Harriers runner books his ticket to the Bahamas

Anna Smith and Luke Duffy, who have been picked for the England team.
Anna Smith and Luke Duffy, who have been picked for the England team.

One of the short-term ambitions of Mansfield Harriers’ athletics prospect Luke Duffy has been realised after he booked a ticket to the Bahamas.

The Caribbean islands are the venue for the Youth Commonwealth Games for U18s later this month, and Luke has been selected as part of an elite England squad of 25.

Ever since making his debut in an international vest earlier this year, middle-distance runner Luke has spoken of his determination to make the trip for the Games. Now the 16-year-old, who lives in Nottingham, will get a golden chance to prove his worth to cap the spectacular progress he has made at Harriers over the last three years under the wing of coach Richard Massey. Luke is currently ranked number one U17 in the UK over 1500m with a best time of 3.50 minutes.

He is joined in the England team by 15-year-old Anna Smith, who is a member of Newark Athletics Club but who joined Massey’s training group at Harriers in May.

She will be the youngest member of the squad but tops the UK rankings for 800m and is fourth best over 1500m. Despite her age, she ran in the National U20 Championships two weeks ago and finished fourth against girls up to four years her senior.