PANGBOURNE College student Dan Atkins secured a bronze medal at the Olympic Hopes Regatta, held in Poznan, Poland.

Atkins, 17, competed in three different events at the junior international regatta which featured 34 countries and more than 600 athletes taking part. He achieved the podium finish in the K4 500m Under 17 boys event.

Racing alongside teammates Fred Kemp, who is also from Reading, Andras Kereszturi, and Philip Miles, Atkins clinched the bronze in a nail-biting race, finishing less than two hundredths of a second ahead of the Czech crew boat.

There was also a top-10 finish for Atkins in the KS 200m with Kemp, as the pair finishing eighth in what was a highly promising regatta for GB’s juniors.

Atkins commented: “To come away with a bronze was a massive surprise because GB aren’t necessarily right up there in terms of juniors, so to be up with the rest of the world is amazing.”

Atkins’ results follow fine performances at the National Junior Canoe Sprint Championships earlier this year, where he raced at U18 level during the event hosted at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham.

The 17-year-old’s racing at the competition was impressive, as he achieved gold medals in in K4 500m and K2 200m, silver in K1 200m and bronze in K1 500m.

The sixth form student had a full summer training schedule prior to this competition which included a week in Spain as training partner for Jess Walker, who is a three-time Olympic champion and working with Liam Heath – Britain’s most successful Olympic canoeist.

This week came in advance of Walker competing at the World Championships in Portugal, in which she competed in the K1 200m sprint event and came fifth in the world.

Discussing his aspirations for the future, Atkins said: “Now that it’s off-season, we go into preparation and build up next year.

“The main event on the horizon is the World Championships next summer, which I am hopeful of being selected for, so fingers crossed I’ll be racing there next year.”