THE coach of Pitreavie AAC runner Rebecca Grieve has described her achievement in winning European gold as "fantastic".

Francis Smith, who revealed he and other athletes he works with watched her race on a phone on the track at Pitreavie Athletics Centre, expressed his pride after the 17-year-old enjoyed success at the European Under-18 Athletics Championships.

Held in Jerusalem, Israel, the teenager - who spoke to Press Sport this week about her experience at the competition - was one of seven Scottish athletes picked in the 40-strong Great Britain and Northern Ireland squad for the competition.

Rebecca, ranked number one in Scotland for her age group over 400 and 200 metres, was selected to compete in the women's medley relay race – comprising four legs run over 100m, 200m, 300m and then 400m – and, prior to travelling to the championships, she told Press Sport that she would "put everything I can into that relay and hopefully try and get us on the podium".

Her coach also stated his belief that she could win a medal and, in the heats, Rebecca and team-mates Jessica Astill, Emmanuella Quaye and Nia Wedderburn-Goodison produced a strong performance to reach the final.

Their time of two minutes, 7.66 seconds was the quickest of any qualifier, and Rebecca was in the quartet that ran the final, alongside Renee Regis, a 100m bronze-medallist; 200m champion Faith Akinbileje; and Etty Sisson.

Picking up the baton for the third leg, 300m – Regis and Akinbileje had completed the opening 100m and 200m respectively – Rebecca handed it on to Sisson in second position, behind Italy, but the anchor runner, who finished fourth in the individual 400m, sat on her rival's shoulder before taking a dramatic win on the line.

The GB team's winning time of 2:07.18 was also a new record for the championships, and a European under-18 best performance, and Francis said: "It was really good and it was a good learning experience for her to be part of a team and understand that it wasn't just about her, it was about the team performing, and learning that coaches might change the team between heats and finals.

"But she was lucky enough to get that run in the final and bring gold back, which was really, really good.

"I knew the other girls that were selected alongside her were a really good calibre of athlete and Rebecca added to that as well. Her splits in the relay were good and it was nice just to see her smile and get the medal on the live stream and things like that.

"It's fantastic and it's the first step on the pathway. Athletes need to understand that it's not always an individual success that determines their career."

Francis, who spoke to both Rebecca and her parents, who were "over the moon", following the final, believes that her achievements will also act as an inspiration to other members within the club.

"Even the night she was doing it, obviously I was proud, and the whole squad were really happy for her," he continued.

"All her training partners watched it around a phone at the track and it was good just to all support her.

"It gives the younger athletes something to look at and say, well, if that athlete's done it, then why can I not do it?

"It's about planning the season right. We targeted that right off and her getting out there has shown club athletes that maybe are just growing or maturing at different stages, that the opportunity there's when they get to that age if they keep sticking in and training hard."

Pitreavie AAC added that they were "super-proud" of Rebecca and her team-mates' performance, while Scottish Athletics also offered their congratulations.