HE is about to embark upon the biggest tournament of his young career.

However, Northwich shot putter George Hyde believes that will make him perform to a new level.

The 17-year-old is getting ready to compete against the best the continent has to offer at the European under 18s Athletics Championships in Gyor, Hungary.

Hyde, a pupil of Sir John Deane’s College, is top of the UK rankings in the under 17s age group for 5kg shot put and he says he is ready to test himself at a new level as he prepares to represent Great Britain for the first time.

“It is excited to be chosen. There was a bit of a relief there as well,” he said.

“Getting to the Europeans has been a target of mine for this season so it was good to get that call.

“Going up against better competition seems to make me raise my game.

“The tougher the competition, the better I seem to throw.

“There are more levels to my ability and I’m aiming to show that at the Euros.”

While this is Hyde’s first GB selection, he has competed internationally before having won the Home Countries Schools International while representing English Schools last year.

The former Weaverham High School pupil goes into the event in good form having thrown a new personal best of 18.89m at the England Athletics Championships last month.

Only three athletes competing in Gyor have thrown further than Hyde this year, which will raise his hopes of a medal.

However, Hyde says his aim for the championships is clear.

“I want to go there and throw a new PB. If I do that, I’ll be happy,” he said.

“I feel like I’m in good form and I’ve been throwing well this season.

“Maybe I can look at finishing in the top five, but I don’t know too much about the competition.

“I’ve seen some of the results they’ve had, but I’ve not seen them in action personally.

“A medal would be brilliant of course, but I’m looking for that new personal best.”

Dave McKay, who coaches Hyde alongside Jenny Manning at West Cheshire AC, says a place on the Great Britain team is just reward for his hard work having missed out on selection for last year’s Youth Commonwealth Games.

“Jenny and I have been really impressed with the way George has progressed in recent years,” he said.

“George has been rewarded for all his hard work and dedication.

“He has had to practice a new technique during the last 12 months in a bid to improve his throwing distance and it has been so good to see all that work paying off.

“I'm confident that George will thoroughly enjoy the experience of competing in a Great Britain vest and I'm sure the trip will whet his appetite for more international appearances.”