Workington sprinter Oliver Dustin hopes to announce his arrival on the European stage by clinching a gold medal for Great Britain next week.

Dustin, 18, of Ashfield, will represent GB for the first time at the European U20 Championships in Borås, Sweden and the top spot on the podium is his target, despite it being his first time competing at this level.

He said: “This is a big step up but I want to win.

“I’m going into the competition ranked second in Europe.

“It’s going to be such a valuable experience, I can’t wait.

“Everyone I’m racing is a high-quality athlete and I haven’t really had that before, where the depth of the field is so strong.”

Despite a poor performance at a trial in Bedford last month, Dustin bounced back to smash the qualifying time of one minute and 49 seconds in Watford on June 29 to earn his place in the squad. He learned that he had been selected on Tuesday and has been raring to go since then.

Dustin, who has previously represented England, is due to fly out from Heathrow on Tuesday ahead of his heat on Friday, with the semi-final set to take place next Saturday and the final next Sunday.

The former Keswick School pupil hopes it will not be a swift exit from European competition and that a strong performance in the 800 metres could pave the way for more GB call-ups and regular showdowns against the continent’s best racers.

“That’s my target; I want to be consistently running for GB, travelling around the world and competing,” he said.

“I’m really excited to get out there and show what I can do.

“This is my first time running for GB but I’ve had great experience with England before.

“It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for me.”