Athletes can’t wait to compete at Glasgow 2014
As the countdown to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games continues, athletes with University of Bath links say they can’t wait to compete at the Games.
The Opening Ceremony takes place in less than two weeks time on Wednesday 23 July and will be followed by 11 action-packed days of sport featuring 4500 athletes from 71 countries and territories.
Some 70 athletes with University of Bath links have been selected for Glasgow 2014, where they will represent 10 countries in 10 of the 17 sports on the Games programme.
Hockey player Eloise Laity is one of 13 University of Bath students preparing to compete at the Games.
The Chemistry student is currently playing for Wales at the Investec London Cup and said: “We’re playing some hard opponents, but we’re continuing to develop and improve.
“We’re going up to Glasgow next week to play a couple more test matches before the competition starts,” she added. “I’m very excited to get up there, start the Games and represent my country.”
Nineteen-year-old Leon Reid is another Bath athlete making his Commonwealth Games debut in Glasgow.
The young sprinter, coached by James Hillier, will represent Northern Ireland in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m – which could see him line-up alongside Usain Bolt.
“I’m a bit nervous, but I’m ready for it,” he said. “I just want to go out there and perform the best I can.”
Rhythmic gymnast Lynne Hutchison is looking forward to representing England at her second Commonwealths.
She was a member of the England team that won team all-around bronze in Delhi four years ago and represented Great Britain in the group competition at the London 2012 Olympics.
Hutchison has just won a bronze in the ribbon and finished fifth in the individual all-around competition at the Virty Cup in Spain, her final competition before Glasgow.
“Training and preparations are going well and I’m coming up to my last few days at the pre-Games England training camp,” she said.
Feeling really confident
“We are feeling really confident as we all picked up medals last week at an international competition in Spain.
“We’re going in to the Games Village on Sunday and I’m really excited to get settled in there as the atmosphere will get us built up for the competition where we are aiming to medal in the team event,” she added.
Ghanaian judo player Emmanuel Nartey had to overcome an ankle injury to get to Glasgow for his second Commonwealths.
He is likely to be one of a handful of judo players in action in Glasgow who also competed at Manchester in 2002, the last Commonwealths to feature the sport.
“Thousands of miles start with one simple step, and that applies to anything in the world,” he said.
“Our steps towards Glasgow started a few years ago and now I’m looking forward to making my final journey to Glasgow and the podium.
“It’s been a rocky path for me with my injury, but my determination and persistence has seen me through and I’m nearly 100 per cent fit for the Games,” he added.
A home Commonwealth Games makes it all the more special
Team Bath netballer Billy Pritchard represents Wales at her third Commonwealth Games after playing at both the Manchester 2002 and Melbourne 2006 Games.
She received the call-up for her third Games at the tender age of 35 after impressing on her return to the Superleague with Team Bath.
“Having a ‘home’ Commonwealth Games makes it all the more special,” she said.
“You feel the support you receive so much more than when you’re away, and that really spurs you on to greater heights. The team is looking really strong and Glasgow 2014 is going to be amazing.”
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