TALENTED young athlete Henry McLuckie made a little bit of Isle of Wight sporting history by finishing on the podium at the European Athletics U20 Championships in Estonia.

The 19-year-old — one of the most promising athletes ever produced on the Isle of Wight — won the bronze medal representing Great Britain in the men's 1,500m final in Tallinn last night (Saturday).

Henry now has the distinction of being the first middle distance runner from the Isle of Wight to have won a medal at a major games.

Having comfortably qualified for the final on Thursday, by coming second in a tough tactical race, the stakes were much higher for the former Christ the King College student, who has had a superb season leading up to the championships — despite all the Covid restrictions in place.

WATCH: The European Athletics U20 Championships final in Estonia

Henry completed the race third in a time of 3mins 47.15secs — six hundredths of a second off the gold medal winning time of Irishman, Cian McPhillips.

At the 1,300m stage of the race, Henry had edged his way up to second until the final straight in a frantic finish for the line — beating his compatriot Kane Elliott by almost four hundredths of a second.

Going into the final, Henry was confident of winning a medal and proud to be representing Great Britain in these championships, whatever the result.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press:

His long-standing coach, Ryde-based Geoff Watkin, said: "Great result. He's on the podium and I'm really delighted for him.

"The final went off at a quicker pace than the heat, led out by team-mate Elliott, so it was more of an honest race.

"Henry got himself into just the right position with 700m to go, in a race that wasn't super fast, but quicker than the heat.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press:

"At the bell for the final lap, Henry was in a group of four out in front. At that point I thought there were still some very quick boys still in it.

"Henry has a lot of mental toughness. His race was really tight. With 50m to go, he was lying fourth as Elliott went past him and I thought 'whoa'.

"But he dug so deep and did enough to grab third. He did extremely well.

"He did get quite a barge from the Polish boy at about 200m left, but Henry said he got his elbows out and fended him off and, although it knocked him, it knocked the Polish boy even more and set him back a couple of metres. He could've been dangerous in a sprint finish.

Isle of Wight County Press:

"The Irish lad deserved to win it, in terms of the way the race was run, but Henry had to really battle the final 100m.

"They ran 55 seconds for the last lap, which is so quick for kids. Although the winning time doesn't look super fast, it was because it was tactical for the first two-and-a-half laps.

"I can't fault Henry. The problem would be that if you said go right to the front from the gun and try to run the whole race completely on your own, that would be very, very difficult to do.

"You have the pressure of people sitting behind you for the whole race and, if he had done that, he may not have got a medal at all, so I think Henry got his tactics spot on.

Isle of Wight County Press:

"Henry can now understand there is a difference between running in a pace race, like the British Milers Club, in comparison to a championship race when people are using different tactics.

"Henry has learned a lot from this. He's absolutely delighted and I can see that over the past two to three weeks, he understands how difficult it is to get in the GB team — and how difficult it is to win a medal.

"As far as distance running is concerned — and I've coached four or five who have gone through to compete in European Championships — but I think Henry is the only one who has won a medal.

"Henry's the only middle distance runner from the Isle of Wight to have won a major games.

"Watching him progress is the biggest reward for me as a coach. When they run particularly well in a championship race, it's the icing on the cake."