OLYMPIC hopeful Hannah Kelly is keen to follow in the footsteps of Dina Asher-Smith as her athletics career intensifies.

Bury’s Bolton Harrier Kelly is a promising 200m runner, who is also looking to step-up to the 400m, with plenty of continental meets and the European U20 Championships already under her belt.

The 19-year-old is not lacking in inspiration either, with Olympic medallist and 200m world champion Asher-Smith offering her a glimpse into a bright future.

“Dina has always been a role model, someone to look up to, and for her to be from the same country is always really inspiring,” said Kelly.

“To see where she came from and where she is now is amazing and it’d be so great to be on the same team as her one day or to follow in her footsteps.

“I’ve never ran against her, I’ve seen her on TVs and at competitions.

“There is a really strong British team now. The relay teams have that medal potential and it always motivates you to do well when you’re seeing other people who were once in your shoes going out there and winning medals.

“The Olympic Games have always been my goal, it is the big one and that would be my goal.”

The 2024 Games in Paris is the next big aim for the talented teen but the more immediate plans are slightly more closer to home.

The next Commonwealth Games are less than two years away, with Birmingham – the place where Kelly is studying Law – playing host in 2022.

Akin to most of the country, Kelly’s plans have been on hold this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the Bury runner is keen to take the positives out of a tough year, taking a step back and reassessing her plans ready for a big return to action.

“I’ve enjoyed training this year without the pressure of having the one goal to focus on,” said Kelly, who is financially supported and mentored by charity SportsAid, through their partnership with GVC Holdings.

“I’ve had fun with it. If I didn’t train I’d be bored.

“I’d love to reach the Commonwealth Games in 2022. To get on the team for that would be unreal.

“I’m at university at Birmingham currently and have been training down there for the past year so I’m familiar with it and it’d be great to take that further.

“It’d be amazing to have a home crowd, people I know would be able to come and watch which is amazing.

“My family have always come to watch competitions, it’s always great to have them there.”

GVC is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. As part of this three-year partnership, GVC are supporting a diverse group 50 of UK athletes per year from a variety of spots and para-sports. Visit gvc-plc.com to find out more.