FOR Owen Merrett, his appearance at the Manchester International will be an event he will never forget.

Firstly and most importantly, the 17-year-old hammer throwing ace from Chippenham made his debut for Great Britain Juniors in a match against England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the National Athletics League.

Secondly, he celebrated that debut by throwing the 5k weight for a huge personal best of 73.00m which puts him seventh in the world rankings in that age group.

“The whole experience was amazing, really amazing,” said Merrett.

“If back in 2015 when I first started throwing the hammer someone had said to me that by 2021 I would be in the GB squad I would have laughed at them!

“It was a great day and I got lots of nice GB kit, which was very nice!”

As a first year under-20 athlete, Merrett has spent most of the summer throwing the 6k hammer weight, but as a final year under 18 he was eligible to throw the 5k weight.

Indeed, but for the pandemic he may have got to compete at the European Under 18 Championships, only for the event to be cancelled due to Covid.

So, Merrett took full advantage of throwing the weight for the last time and while no medals or trophies were at stake the significance of the throw can’t be under-estimated.

“It is definitely where I want to be at this stage of my career,” added Merrett.

“Obviously, it is the senior age group that counts and in the future no-one will remember the under 18s. But if I can stay in the world’s top ten when I am senior I’ll take that for sure!

“I am on the right path.”