Latest success story off the Wigan Harriers production line targets glory

Ashley Nemits is well on track to be Wigan's latest running star after winning the England Under-20s championships over 400m.

Her winning time of 54.16m - which smashed her personal best - was the perfect way to kick off the 2023 season.

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Nemits, who hails from Appleton, is reaping the rewards of working under Trevor Painter and his wife Jenny Meadows, alongside fellow Wigan borough star Keely Hodgkinson, who hails from Atherton.

Ashley NemitsAshley Nemits
Ashley Nemits
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"It's so inspiring training with them," she said. "They're such nice people at the same time, but they inspire me so much."

Nemits is determined to make up for lost time, with injuries having affected her during her short career to date.

"It was so hard but it's so rewarding to come out with what I wanted, so I'm happy," she added in an interview broadcast via the Athletics Weekly Twitter account. "I've had such a long journey to get here, it seemed like every time I had a big race I picked up a little niggle.

"So to come here and be in my best possible shape, I'm just so happy.

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"For all the downs I've had, the ups like this make it all worthwhile.

"Every time I had a setback, I just focused on getting through the rehab, the bike sessions - which are so boring! - but it's obviously paid off.

"Next up is the British Championships, and I'm just going to give it my all and try to bring my PB (personal best) down a bit more."

After the British Championship, Nemits will travel to South Africa with her team for some more warm-weather training.

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Meanwhile, Nemits – along with fellow Wigan Harrier Ava Lloyd – has been named in the Great Britain and Northern Ireland junior squad for next week’s Dynamic New Athletics (DNA) Under-20 Indoor Match in Madrid.

The young Brits will be taking on the Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

Nemits will compete in the 4x400m mixed relay along with Etty Sisson – World U20 4x400m bronze medallist and European U18 relay champion in 2022 – Thomas Hockley and Onyeka Okoh.

Wigan’s Lloyd will be involved in the final event of the two-hour-long match – The Hunt.

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With team honours on the line in the race, the quartet of (Leg 1 600m) David Race, (Leg 2 400m) Jessica Astill, (Leg 3 200m) Dean Patterson and (Leg 4 800m) Lloyd will be looking to guide the country to victory.

Performance Pathway Manager (Olympic) at UK Athletics, Dan Wagner said, “It is a fantastic opportunity for our junior athletes to have a competitive experience against some of the best athletes in their age group in Europe.

"It is an exciting new format covering a range of event groups, which I am sure our junior athletes will thrive in.

“It is a valuable experience for all the athletes ahead of a summer season which includes two continental age group Championships; the European U20 and U23 Championships, and two additional GB & NI junior teams at the Loughborough International and Mannheim Gala.

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"So, I am looking forward to seeing how the team performs in Madrid.”