TOM SOMERS has been recognised by British Athletics after being invited to join their Futures Programme for the next 12 months.

The 17-year-old City of York Athletic Club runner, who in July posted the fastest 200 metre time for his age since Usain Bolt when clocking 20.37 seconds in the IAAF World Junior Championships, is one of 34 athletes who have been handed the honour.

Part of the World Class Performance Programme, the scheme was created to provide financial assistance and individual support for young talented athletes and their coaches. It focuses on youngsters who have the potential to achieve medal success at major games like the Olympics and World Championships.

Queen Ethelburga's School student Somers, coached by York's Geoff Barraclough, is the world youth number one in the 200m and, in the Great Britain senior list, trails only Adam Gemili and Daniel Talbot.

The Yearsley teenager will be competing in under-20s events this year.

Barraclough said: "This will give Tom invitations to enter some quality events and it will also help with his training.

"Funding helps towards work with physios as well as overnight accommodation.

"Tom is 18 next April and he will be competing in the U20s. He will be looking to get some medals and will need to be consistently good."

British Athletics’ development manager Jo Jennings said: “The aim of the Futures Programme is to support the next generation of champions and their coaches. We are delighted to assist the 34 athlete-coach pairings with their development plans and aid their future success.

“By providing athletes financial assistance and medical support, as well as coach development funding, the programme is aiming to help athletes follow in the successful footsteps of former Futures athletes such as Dina Asher-Smith and Robbie Grabarz.

“By supporting athlete-coach pairs around their own programmes, it allows for more flexibility and better distribution of resources, which will benefit the sport in future years.”