EAST Lancashire hammer thrower Sophie Hitchon has been named in England’s Commonwealth Games squad.
The 22-year-old from Burnley, who competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games finishing 12th, forms part of a 129-strong squad for this summer’s Games in Glasgow which begin on July 23.
Hitchon is one of two female hammer throwers named along with Sarah Holt, with double Olympic champion Mo Farrah heading a star-studded squad that also includes London 2012 long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and sprinter Adam Gemili.
100m sprinter Chijindu Ujah was omitted as expected despite running 9.96 seconds in Holland on June 8, but the 2013 European junior champion’s stunning time fell outside the Commonwealth Games qualifying period.
Blackburn's pole valuter Holly Bleasdale is not included in the squad after the 22-year-old opted to take a break from competitive competition in 2014 to ensure he was injury-free for next season.
Chef du mission Jan Paterson said Team England will take a healthy mix of experience and youth to the Games.
“Athletics is our largest squad and I am delighted by the calibre of athletes that we see in this team, not just in the shape of Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champions but also young talent who can really make their mark in Glasgow and become international names in future years,” she said.
“They will have the privilege of competing in front of a huge crowd in Scotland’s national stadium, Hampden Park, which has been transformed for the Games, and will make it very special for each of them.”
London 2012 gold winner Rutherford expects a competitive games in Glasgow.
“This looks set to be a really great summer,” he said.
“The Commonwealth Games is going to be an amazing competition and I know that all of us on the team will be looking forward to putting in our best possible performances for Team England.”