YATE and District runner Dan Studley is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Mo Farah after meeting the double European Championship gold medallist.

The 19-year-old from Tytherington was making his debut at Crystal Palace in the Grand Prix Diamond League when he met his hero in the dressing room before finishing 15th in the under-20s 3,000m race with a time of 8:35.30.

Studley then watched Farah storm to victory over the same distance in the men’s race later that same night and feels he could learn a lot from the Somali-born ace.

“It shows hard training works because although he was the best in Britain for a while he’s made a big step forward and he’s someone to look up to.

“In the same distance, they ran at the end of the night and he ran in 7:46 so it’s really interesting to see where you are.

“He’s number one in the world and is almost one minute quicker than me so it’s interesting to see how he trains because he’s come a long way.

“Hopefully he will be bringing back medals at the World Championships.”

Studley earned the opportunity to run in front of 20,000 people at the home of British athletics after some impressive performances this year, which has seen him rise into the top 20 of the rankings for his age group.

He met several other athletes at the meeting including Jenny Meadows and former Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes, and enjoyed the experience.

“It’s amazing how down to earth they were and how interested they were in me,” he said.

“Compared to the average league meeting, the noise was quite amazing and helps carry you around.

“It was amazing to be part of an event that I watched years before.”

Last year, Studley found out he was anaemic and has been making giant strides forward ever since.

“At the start of last winter I found I was struggling a lot just to do a 40-minute run.

“I had a blood test and was diagnosed with an iron deficiency.

“I’ve been on iron supplements for nearly a year now and the transformation has been crazy - my PBs up to 5k have all been improved.

“This year I’ve made my big breakthrough really. I’ve been on a gap year, working part-time and really focussing on my athletics.”

Studley is going to university at Oxford Brooks next month and after that he wants to follow many other upcoming British athletes by earning an athletics scholarship in the USA.

He said: “In the long-term I would love to be considered for a scholarship in America, and a lot of athletes are looking towards that now.

“Being in a professional environment would be great and to do it on a scholarship as well would be even better.”

Despite his impressive performances over the longer distances, Studley believes his strength could lie in his 1500m and he smashed his personal best by four seconds to finish third at the BMC British Grand Prix Final at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium in a time of 3:54 last Saturday.

He is heading to Belgium this weekend to compete in an under-20s international event over the same distance in Antwerp and will then be concentrating on the winter season with the European Cross Country Trials in November.