HOLLY Neill’s budding athletics career has reached a new pinnacle after she claimed a hat-trick of medals at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Junior World Championships in Olomouc in the Czech Republic.

The 21-year-old, who lives in Chantmarle near Dorchester and suffers from dwarfism, won gold in the shot and bronze medals in the discus and javelin, which is the crowning glory so far in a brief career.

Neill, who is top of the Great Britain junior rankings in the shot, said: “I met my athletics trainer, Andrew Roda of Yeovil Athletics, through the TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme), which I was on for my equestrian sport.

“But it was not until my competition horse got injured that I realised I needed a backup plan.

“I had already been to Belfast for the DSA (Dwarf Athletics Association) World Games and won three medals in the athletic events, even though it wasn’t my main sport, so Andrew encouraged me to carry it on further.

“He saw potential in me and I trained hard throughout last winter to be ready to compete and do well this season.”

The Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team captured an incredible total of 42 medals at the IWAS Junior World Championships, which included 21 gold medals, 12 silvers and nine bronzes. That was enough to see the team finish third in the overall standings behind runners-up Germany (44) and winners Poland (65).

Neill competes in the F40 class and won the shot by the narrowest of margins. Her winning throw was 6.63m, which was just 1cm ahead of Poland’s silver medallist Daria Kabiesz (6.62m). Fellow Briton Victoria Silk (6.45m) claimed the bronze.

Kabiez (23.60m) got her revenge over Silk (18.39m) and Neill (17.74m) in the discus but in the javelin the GB team hit back with a one, two, three.

Silk (20.68m) claimed gold ahead of F46 class competitor Hollie Arnold (31.51m), with Neill completing the clean sweep in third (20.16m).

Neill added: “I felt my performance at the IWAS Junior World Championships went brilliantly. I certainly did better than I expected, as it was my first international competition with the GB team.

“I did not know what the competition would be like, so to win three medals was amazing, and overall the GB team did very well.”