Andover AC’s multi talented athlete Holly Mills returned from Boras, Sweden winning a bronze medal in the long jump and finished fourth in the heptathlon at the European Under-20 Championships.

Team GB had sent its largest ever team to Boras with many of the 69 athletes ranked in the top 10 in Europe and on the eve of the championships Mills was named as co-captain of the team.

Day one saw the commencement of the heptathlon and with the first event being the 100m hurdles.

The Andover athlete was keen to get a good start to the competition in one of her strongest events.

Despite running into a headwind Holly made the perfect start by producing her fastest time ever of 13.45secs to be the quickest of all the competitors.

Her time was also the fastest ever by a British under-20 heptathlete, beating the previous best set by Jessica Ennis-Hill.

The second event of the day was the high jump and Mills was in great form as she produced another lifetime best performance with a jump of 1.78m.

With only one other athlete clearing a higher height she led the competition after the first two events.

Next up was the shot put and a disappointing best put of 10.86m, almost two metres down on her best, saw Mills drop down to third place in the competition.

The final event of the day was the 200m and again Holly produced another fine performance as she stopped the clock at 24.15secs, just 0.02secs off her personal best.

With only two other athletes running quicker, Mills ended day one in second place just two points behind the leader and eventual winner Maria Vicente.

Day two started with Mills' strongest event, the long jump and knew that she would need a big jump in order to secure enough points against her rivals, as her weakest event, the javelin, was next up.

In difficult conditions with a blustery wind changing direction during the competition, the Andover athlete again showed her class by producing the best jump of the competition with a leap of 6.30m to retake a slender lead of 14 points going into the javelin.

Despite a best throw of 32.73m just short of her personal best, her main rivals all produced much bigger throws well in excess of their personal bests which saw Mills drop to fourth place overall and the chance of a medal had all but disappeared.

The final event was the 800m and Mills decided to take the lead from the outset but the first lap exertions took their toll as she had nothing to give on the second lap and finished in a time of 2:24.17, some five secs off her personal best.

With the top three girls all scoring in excess of 6,000 points, Mills still produced a personal best of 5,802 points to finish in fourth place.

This performance ranks her as the second best under-20 Briton on the all-time list of GB athletes competing in their second Heptathlon, ahead of several Olympians and Olympic Champions.

Speaking after the competition Mills said: “It was disappointing to finish in fourth place as I under performed in a couple of events.

"However, it is only my 2nd ever heptathlon and I’m still learning. I feel I have so much more to give in the event and with more experience next year I will hopefully be in a position to compete against the best heptathletes in the world.”

With very little time to recover Mills was back in action at the start of day three in the long jump qualifying round.

Qualification for the final was set at a performance of 6.35m or at least the top 12 performers advance to the final.

Mills produced a solid jump of 6.28m in the first of her permitted three attempts and although her second attempt was a no jump, she opted to pass on her final attempt as she was comfortably within the top 12, qualifying for the final with the fourth best jump.

The final of the long jump on day 4 of the championships started in heavy rain and a blustery wind that was changing direction throughout the competition.

This clearly made jumping difficult for all the athletes but Mills adapted well in the early rounds where she produced a good series of jumps of 6.32m, 6.48m and 6.50m to lead the competition at the halfway cut point.

With two other athletes, Larissa Iapichino and Tilde Johansson close behind the medals were going to be shared between these three athletes.

In round four Iapichino took the lead with a 6.51m whilst Holly and Johansson failed to improve their bests.

Then in round five Johansson took the lead with a 6.52m jump only for Iapichino to take the lead back with the very next jump with 6.58m.

Although Mills produced another good jump of 6.38m in the final round she finished in 3rd place just 8cm behind the gold medallist Larissa Iapichino.

Afterwards Mills said “I am really happy to pick up the bronze medal particularly as I was jumping on tired legs after competing in the Heptathlon on the first two days and didn’t expect to jump this far.

"To come out and jump as well as I did and finish so close to the other two athletes was really pleasing. It was great to be involved in such an exciting competition.

"I came into these championships ranked fourth in Europe in heptathlon and third in long jump, so to come away confirming these rankings is very satisfying.”