Opportunity knocks for Barnsley’s Luke Cutts to prove he has the right stuff for Rio

Luke Cutts.
Luke Cutts.
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Barnsley pole vaulter Luke Cutts will get a chance to show his Olympic credentials after he was announced in the Great Britain squad for the European Athletics Championships.

Cutts joins six defending European champions in the squad for Amsterdam including Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford and 42-year-old 5,000m runner Jo Pavey.

South Yorkshire duo Lee Emanuel and Louise Bloor have also been selected but Wakefield middle distance runner Charlene Thomas was omitted from the 98-strong squad.

City of Leeds athlete Derek Hawkins will continue his Olympic preparations in a rare half marathon in Amsterdam.

Adam Gemili, who won 200m gold two years ago, headlines a trio of sprinters in the 100m while British champion James Dasaolu has been selected solely in the 4x100m relay.

Dasaolu won the 100m at the Olympic Trials in Birmingham at the weekend in 9.93 as three Britons dipped under 10 seconds in the same race for a first time.

Cutts also topped the podium at the Alexander Stadium as he cemented his place at Rio 2016 by securing the gold medal in the pole vault.

Emanuel suffered disappointment at the trials as he faded to fifth place in the 1,500m. After trailing in the wake of fellow Britons Chris O’Hare and Charlie Grice in Birmingham, Emanuel indicated 2016 would be his last year competing over the distance.

“I haven’t got the speed I used to have so it’s becoming difficult,” the 31-year-old said.

“I have got to that point where I have hit my 1,500m max. This will probably be my last year.”

Injuries have put Bloor behind in her preparations for Rio but she has been rewarded with a place in the 4x100m relay squad for Amsterdam.

The 30-year-old ran her first outdoor race of 2016 at the trials but exited the 200m in the heats after recording 24.34.

However, she may find it tough to break into the British quartet with Olympic hopefuls Dina Asher-Smith, Asha Philip, Desiree Henry and Daryll Neita all included.