Bolton United Harrier Hannah Kelly has had her place in next week’s European Athletics Championships confirmed.

The 23-year-old, from Bury, will again be part of Team GB’s women’s 4x400m relay squad in Rome as she looks towards selection for the Olympics later this summer,

The European Championships take place over six days from June 7-12, beginning eight weeks before the start of the athletics at the Paris Games.

At the previous European Championships in 2022, Great Britain won 20 medals - including six golds.

Head coach, Paula Dunn, said: “I am really pleased with the team we have announced that will compete in the European Athletics Championships.

“It is incredibly strong with a high number of athletes feeling that Rome will form an important part of their preparations for Paris.

“For some athletes, winning a medal in Rome will be the perfect preparation for the Olympics, for others competing here will provide a benchmark as to where they are knowing that their peak performance needs to come at the start of August.

“There is also a good blend of athletes who can use this championship to step up and fuel their aims of qualifying for Paris and on to the Tokyo World Championships in 2025.”

The team comprises 70 selected athletes and two wildcard entries for reigning European Athletics champions, including Atherton’s Keely Hodgkinson in the 800m.

For Kelly, who is coached by Les Hall, it is another landmark selection as her stock continues to rise following a bronze medal as part of the GB relay squad at the World Indoor Championships, in Glasgow earlier this year.

Then she ran for Team GB in the Bahamas at the World Relay Championships.

She was also handed the honour at Loughborough International recently of being named England women’s team captain.

Kelly told England Athletics: “It means so much to me.

“I was talking to my friends and I said I wanted to be a team captain before I retire.

“I hope I don’t retire for a long time, but to have been selected at Loughborough means a lot.

“It is a huge honour to lead England and such a great team.

“In my speech I said to the team ‘have confidence in yourself’.

“These vests are not just given, you have earned them, and you are here because you belong here.

“A lot of the time a competition goes so quick, so just enjoy every moment.

“For the new athletes I wanted to make sure they know I am there for them, whether they need a friendly face or have a question, I am there to help out.”

Now the focus switches to Italy and the opportunity of another podium spot for Kelly and her team GB team-mates.

She added: “I really loved World Relays and I ran some fast splits there so hopefully I can do well at the Europeans.”