ANDOVER long jump starlet Holly Mills has made British history by winning gold at the inaugural European Youth Championships.

The Andover Athletics club teenager beat 25 of the continent’s strongest young female long jumpers to be crowed European Athletics Youth Long Jump Champion at the first annual games held in Tbilisi, Georgia, earlier this month.

Team GB sent a strong team to Tbilisi with many of the athletes ranked in the top five in Europe, so to even make the team was a huge achievement for Mills.

With 25 athletes competing, the girls were split into two qualifying groups with the top 12 progressing to the final.

Warm but blustery weather made conditions challenging for the athletes, but Mills opened with a jump of 6.07m to take the lead in her group, before following up with a jump of 6.12m.

Although her final jump was a foul her previous jumps were good enough to win her group and progress to the final.

The final took place the following day in even warmer conditions, with the temperature inside the stadium reaching 38C.

Like the previous day there was a blustery breeze, but this time much stronger with the athletes running into the wind.

Unfazed by the strong headwinds ranging from -1.2m/s to -6.5m/s, Mills showed composure producing an impressive series of jumps.

After two rounds of jumps Mills was in second place just 2cm behind the leading jump of 6.08m.

However she produced what turned out to be the winning jump in round three with a leap of 6.19m.

At this point the final was reduced to the top eight athletes who would get three further jumps with the leader jumping last in each round.

In round four Mills produced a 6.09 leap, which would prove crucial later in the competition.

There were no changes to the leaderboard in round five so the title would be decided with the last eight jumps in round six.

There were some nervy moments for Mills when the favourite for the competition, Maja Bedrac of Slovenia, matched Mills’ jump of 6.19m with her final jump.

However consistency won on the day with Mills’ second best jump of 6.09m two centimetres better than her Slovenian counterpart.

Mills said: “I’m so happy, I can’t even explain it.

“I came in ranked third and I can’t believe I ended up coming away with the gold medal.

“I feel like a changed athlete, it’s my first time abroad and I feel like a proper athlete now. Having now won that medal I feel a really big part of the British team.

“I would also like to say a massive thanks to BDZ Holdings for their continued support that enabled my parents, sister Abbie and coach James Coney to travel with me.”