AS BRITAIN celebrates its best Olympic medal haul for decades, a local artist has been following local hopefuls for the 2012 London Games.

A new exhibition of photographs by Ealing artist Edward Lee, of Ealing London Independent Photography, goes on display at the PM Gallery today (Thursday).

The pictures follow the training regimes of five local Olympic hopefuls, including boxer Kim Connolly, hammer thrower Dempsey McGuigan and sprinter Nadia Mills, who are all from Ealing.

Mr Lee said: “All five proved very challenging to photograph as their environments were very different.

“The indoor shots were the most difficult because flash photography was often not an option, as it would upset the rhythm of the training. The outdoor disciplines had a different set of challenges.

“It was quite an experience, if not scary, to stand out in the field and watch through the viewfinder as Dempsey McGuigan threw the hammer in my general direction.

“Throughout the time that I have covered the work of each athlete, I have been struck by the variety of their skills, as well as the determination that they all share. To be able to witness their training at close quarters has a been a real privilege.”

The other two athletes snapped by Mr Lee are Mohammed ‘Munir’ Azizshalizi, from Hayes, who competes in Taekwondo, and Charleigh Kirby, from Hillingdon, a table tennis hopeful.

The free exhibition runs until Sunday, August 31 at the PM Gallery, Pitshanger Manor, Mattock Lane.