TWO of Wiltshire’s rising teenage talents received a major boost this week when they were selected to represent Team GB at the 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games in Switzerland, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

Will Scammell and Charlotte Longden, from Devizes and Marlborough respectively, returned to their home county on Sunday after coming through two gruelling final selection trials in Norway and Germany to secure the two spots available in the mono bobsleigh discipline.

Scammell, 16, was pushed to the limit in Konigssee, Germany, before securing his spot at the Games by a single point from his Team Bath athletics club-mate Luke Williams.

Longden, meanwhile, proved to be one of the fastest starters of all competitors during the trials – an achievement that will no doubt stand her in good stead ahead of the Games in Lausanne, which start on January 9.

St Augustine Catholic College student Scammell said: “It is a big surreal, and just a big shock.

“Luka (Williams) is obviously disappointed but at the same time happy for me that I got picked.

“It all came down to that last race on the ice and I just got the extra point. But it was nip and tuck between Luka and I the whole time.

“There have been times when I questioned why I was doing it but now I can see it was all for this moment and I am so happy I took up the sport.”

Fellow athlete Longden added: “I have been training for this for almost a year and it is the best thing I have ever achieved.

“I am so excited, and I cannot imagine what it will be like. I don’t think it has really hit me yet but with more and more people congratulating me it is becoming a realisation.”

Team Bath coach Julie Alexander took great pride in the Wiltshire pair achieving their dream by qualifying for the upcoming Games.

After all, it was Alexander who encouraged both athletes to sign up for the bobsleigh trials only 18 months ago.

She said: “It has been a fantastic experience for them and they have made so many new friends and learnt so much. I am so proud of them all.

“Charlotte was already ahead of the other girls when they were forced to withdraw but sadly that is the nature of the sport.”