SOUTHAMPTON AC's Oli Bromby produced the race of his life to win a European Junior Championships 100 metres bronze medal in Grosseto, Italy, last night.

Running in lane three, the Shirley-based sprint ace performed brilliantly to secure third place behind the pre-race favourite, Fillipo Tortu of Italy, and the powerful Finn, Samuel Purola.

Off to a quick start, Bromby's pick-up was less smooth than his rivals which cost some crucial ground, but he produced a customary blazing last 40 metres to finish in a fast-closing 10.88 seconds.

Times were hampered by a very strong 4.2 metres per second headwind which meant that all the finalists were well outside their best marks. Ultimately, though, it is the results that will enter into the history books.

Coaches Sara and Gary MacDonald Gray could not have been prouder of their young charge.

“It is a fitting way for Oli to end his Junior career, with a major championships medal and the best competitive record of any British junior in 2017,” said Gary.

“It was also just reward after the disappointments of missing out on a medal in the World Under-18 Championships in 2015 and on a place in last year's World Junior Championships final by one thousandth of a second.”

Speaking after the race, modest GB hero Bromby smiled: "Someone handed me a flag. I didn't know what to do with it. People don't hand me flags!

“It’s been a tough couple of years, coming fourth at the World Youths two years ago and then just missing the final at the World Juniors last year, and it felt like a bit of a let-down for all the work I put in.

“So to finally get a medal here, it’s brilliant! Today was a good day.”

Bromby has one final meeting in his diary this summer, returning to Southampton AC duty in the final British Athletics League match of the year on August 20.

That will be followed by a well-earned end of season rest and a focus on a transition to senior athletics in 2018.