COLCHESTER Harriers sprinter Charlie Dobson says it will be a "huge honour" to secure his Great Britain vest at today's Manchester International.

The talented 17-year-old from Wormingford will compete for the Great Britain under-20 team at the Manchester Regional Arena event, which forms a key part of the home nations' preparations ahead of next year's Commonwealth Games.

Dobson, who is coached by Stephen Garnham, has enjoyed a superb breakthrough season having medalled at the English Schools Championships and represented the Essex Senior team.

The Colchester Sixth Form College student will compete in the 200 metres in a team made up of 42 Juniors, including a host of medal winners from last month's European Championships, in Italy.

The juniors team will compete against senior teams representing England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ulster, a combined British Athletics League/UK Women’s League team and a team from Denmark.

Dobson told the Daily Gazette: “It’s a huge honour.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for me and getting your GB vest is probably one of the best things that can happen to an athlete.

“We’ll be going up against senior athletes and it’ll be a massive challenge for us.

"But it’s a great experience and definitely something that will benefit me."

Dobson admits he has already exceeded his expectations for this season.

“This season has gone better than I expected, so far," said Dobson, who won silver at the English Schools Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, earlier this summer.

“My target was to get to the English Schools, so to medal in that and then get the GB call-up is far beyond what I had expected.

“I think the key to it has been a lot of hard work.

“I train six days a week and I’ve also been going to the gym, which I think has also made a big difference.

“It’s helped me to build up more strength and power and that’s been massive for me."

Dobson has been a Colchester Harriers member for six years and says being at the club has benefited him.

He added: “Colchester Harriers have been great for me and have helped me will lots of different aspects.

“When I first started there, Louis Persent was there training and it was great to watch someone like that and learn from them."

Great Britain's Olympic 4x100m relay champions are also set to unite for a special sprint relay race today.

Darren Campbell, Jason Gardener, Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis Francis memorably took the gold medal at the Athens games 13 years ago, edging out a strong USA team anchored by Maurice Greene and capturing the hearts of the nation in the process.

England Athletics Teams and Competitions Manager, Andy Day, said, “Last year the Manchester International provided a great spectacle for the spectators as well as a tremendous competition opportunity for the athletes involved.

“From an English perspective, a key part of this is the England international team.

"However, we are also pleased to be able to provide an opportunity that extends to other home countries and British junior athletes.

"The combined British Athletics League/ UK Women’ League team also gives another group of athletes an opportunity to taste international competition. "These athletes made the most of the opportunity presented last year to take second place in the team competition.”