ANDOVER’S Holly Mills continued her meteoric rise in the world of women’s Long Jump with a stunning gold medal win at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

The Andover Athletics Club star produced a six metre leap to beat Canadian athlete Tatiana Aholou and fellow England starlet Lucy Hadaway to top spot at the international games, held in the Bahamas.

The 17-year-old, who was also selected to be Team England’s flag bearer at the games’ opening ceremony, said: “I can’t put the last few days into words, they have been amazing.

“First to carry the flag at the opening ceremony and now to win gold and be crowned Commonwealth Youth Games Long Jump champion it’s been unbelievable.”

Fresh from leading her 75 England teammates from seven different sports into the Thomas A Robinson Stadium the previous day, Mills started her bid to become Commonwealth Youth Games Long Jump champion in style.

Despite high humidity and thunder in the distance, the Andover starlet jumped a stunning 6.19m.

She said: “I was feeling good coming into the competition and felt that if I could execute everything I had done in training with my coach, James Coney, then there was a chance I could win a medal.

“I played it a little safe with my first jump to ensure I got a distance in so when I saw 6.19m come up that was a bonus and felt that I would jump further as the competition progressed.”

However, as Mills was preparing to jump in round two, the athletes were told to leave the track due to lightning strikes reported close to the stadium.

The athletes were kept off the track for over an hour whilst the storm passed.

With little time to warm up, the competition recommenced and Mills produced a jump of 6.00m in round two.

After completing three rounds, the top eight athletes progressed to a further three jumps with Mills the only athlete to jump over 6m.

Her England teammate Lucy Hadaway also made the cut, lying in 4th place at the halfway stage.

Mills said: “After the delays it was difficult to get back into any rhythm and I had a feeling that it was going to be a case of who dealt with the conditions best would come out on top.”

After a disappointing third and fourth jump, Mills was left frustrated when her fifth jump, which looked longer than her first, was called a ‘no jump’.

Going into the final round the placings remained unaltered until Lucy produced her best jump of 5.90m to move into third place.

With the Canadian athlete, Tatiana Aholou, unable to improve her best of 5.97m, Mills had the luxury of knowing that she had won the competition before her final jump.

Mills said: “I could relax and enjoy my last jump knowing I had won the competition and as soon as I jumped all the emotion came out.

“I was laughing and crying and didn’t know what to do. I was ecstatic.”

“To have Lucy (Hadaway) on the podium with me was great as well.”

Hadaway added: “It was really nice to stand next to Holly on the podium as we have been competing against each other since we were little and to get to this stage together was a great moment.”

Mills’ incredible Commonwealth Youth Games win comes less than a year after she was crowned European junior long jump champion at the inaugural European Athletics Youth Championships held in Georgia.