BARNSLEY looks set to have no athletes at the Olympic Games this summer after sprinter Joe Ferguson’s dreams of reaching Paris ended this week.

The 24-year-old from Darton finished seventh in the 200m final of the British Championships in Manchester, having taken silver the previous two years.

His time of 21.1 was almost a second down on his personal best and well short of the qualifying time for Paris, while he needed to finish in the top two in the trials to have a chance.

Ferguson had weeks out of training with a hamstring problem – a second successive injury-hit season after suffering several facial fractures and breaks after an on-track collision last year – having reached the World Championship semi-finals in 2022.

Ferguson said: “I’m disappointed to have not made the podium and subsequently to not have made the team for Paris.

“But it was very touch and go whether I’d actually make the start line due to a hamstring injury four weeks ago.

“In normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have been racing just four weeks on but we’ve pushed the timeline to try and get me on that startline to go out fighting.

“Ultimately I went in underprepared and it’s shown in my performance.

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“One silver lining is that I still made the final and came away healthy so now I can spend the next few weeks building momentum and finish the season strong with some other events.

“The focus now switches to the Tokyo 2025 World Championships.

“I don’t have time to dwell too much as, still being young at 24, I’ll have other opportunities to go to the Olympics, as well as World Championships.”

The town of Barnsley has almost always had at least one representative on the Great Britain team at the Olympics in recent decades.

Ed Clancy was a medal-winning mainstay of the cycling team until retiring at the last Olympics in Tokyo three years ago.

There have also been athletes such as Luke Cutts, John Mayock and Angie Thorp plus swimmer James Kirton, archer Amy Oliver and others.

There have also been Paralympic medalists from the town in table tennis player Sue Bailey and basketball player Ian Sagar.

This time, Ferguson and judo player Lachlan Moorhead narrowly missed out.

Kyle Quigley, who lives in Ward Green, is a coach for the Nigerian women’s football team.