CITY of York Athletics Club shot put ace Scott Lincoln is being backed to challenge the World Championships qualifying distance at Lille a week tomorrow.

The 24-year-old, two-time national outdoor and indoor champion has been named as part of the GB squad that will travel to France for the European Athletics Team Championship.

Lincoln needs to throw 20.20m to represent the host country at August’s World Championships, which will take place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

That landmark is 61cm longer that the British number one’s personal best, set in Oordegem, Belgium last year, but his coach Paul Wilson believes some “technical tweaks” could see the two-time Active Sports York Sportsman of the Year winner go close to achieving his 2017 goal.

City of York’s Wilson said: “The World Championships qualifying mark is the target we’ve set and we have changed Scott’s technique during the last week or two to try and give him that bit more distance going into this competition. I think those tweaks should see him throw quite far.

“He is getting closer to what’s needed to make London and he’s in excellent shape - probably the best I’ve seen him in. He’s training better than ever and he’s also lifted a personal best in the gym as well.

“He’s fitter and stronger than he’s ever been and, if he connects with one in Lille, as I’m sure he will do, he’ll have a chance of making the Worlds.”

Lincoln’s best throw this year of 19.00 came in March at the European Throwing Cup in Gran Canaria.

He also finished a credible sixth at the prestigious Halle International Throws competition in Germany, behind the host country’s two-time world champion and Olympic silver medalist David Storl, whose personal best is 22.20m.

Along with Storl, Lincoln will be pitting his skills in Lille against other highly-rated field stars, such as European Indoor champion Konrad Bukowieki, from Poland, who has thrown 21.51m in the past.

On the challenge ahead, Wilson added: “It’s a great opportunity to compete against the best shot putters from Europe’s top eight teams. Scott will go into it ranked eighth, which demonstrates the strength of the field and, if he finishes any higher than that, it will be an achievement in itself.”

Lincoln competed at the London 2012 venue last year in a Diamond League meeting, but would relish the chance to compete there in the biggest athletics competition outside of the Olympics.

If he does not meet the qualifying distance in France, he will have two more opportunities to do so, during the British Team Trials in Birmingham on July 1-2 and at a competition in Ireland the following weekend.

The World Championships will then take place from August 4-13.

Lincoln will be part of a 56-strong team in Lille, which is headlined by 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon.

There is a stronger complement of field athletes, but many of their World Class Performance Programme track counterparts granted leave to focus on Birmingham.

Near full-strength relay squads have been named, though, with sub-ten second runners CJ Ujah and Adam Gemili in the 4x100 men’s team, while Olympic bronze medalist women’s 4x400m stars Asha Philip, Desiree Henry and Darryl Neita and 4x100m aces Emily Diamond, Anyika Onoura and Eilidh Doyle also competing.