COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Talbot’s got a Common goal
DANNY Talbot is ready to show the world that his time is now.
The Trowbridge Tornado goes into the Commonwealth Games in the form of his life, just weeks after becoming the British 200m champion, and the 23-year-old has his sights set on conjuring up some medal magic in Glasgow.
Talbot will don his England colours and hit the Hampden Park track next Wednesday morning, with the semi-final and final taking place the following evening, and the Wiltshire ace, who represented Great Britain in the 4x100m relay at the London 2012 Olympics, has faith that he can claw his way to Commonwealth glory next week.
Sprint star Talbot is certain that to seal a place on the podium, he will have to go head-to-head with Jamaican world number one Warren Weir, who he shared a Glasgow track with earlier this month at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.
But the 200m star believes that he can serve Weir a shock and thinks that sprinters from other nations are beginning to take notice of the Brits.
“You want to be recognised as a potential medal-contender and that’s how I’m looking at myself,” Talbot told the Wiltshire Times.
“I know a lot of people are thinking that Warren Weir and the Jamaicans are the favourites to come first, second and third, and rightly so because they’ve run this fastest times this year, but I’ve got confidence in the programme I’ve done with my coach Dan Cossins and I’m definitely aiming for a medal.
“Knowing that Warren Weir, who’s going to be the favourite, isn’t that far in front of me; I’m going to be looking to win if I get to the final.
“But the only person I can affect is myself. I’ll be given a lane and I can’t exactly go into anyone else’s lane and stop them running fast.
“I think it’s great that we’re getting so many sprinters coming through Britain. I think that people are looking at our results now – they’re seeing how Chijindu (Ujah) got on after running sub-ten and how Adam (Gemili) got on after running sub-20 seconds last year.
“The British Championships are up there as a major competition now and the Europeans will take note but we’re also starting to run well in Diamond Leagues as well and the Americans and Jamaicans will be looking at those.”
With the first Commonwealth action getting underway yesterday morning Talbot, who now lives in Box, has been forced to play the waiting game as he twiddles his thumbs ahead of his event next Wednesday.
But it is something that he is no stranger to, after racing in Great Britain’s ultimately unsuccessful relay heat on one of the final days of the London Olympics two year ago.
If his fellow English athletes begin to have a successful Games, Talbot is hoping that he’ll be able to draw on their delight to put an extra spring in his step “It’s different in terms of the fact that I’m doing an individual event this time, rather than doing the relay,” he said.
“It’s pretty similar in terms of the training because the best training I do to get fast is my 200m training but it’s a different mindset because it’s not as relaxed.
“The relay was the last event (at the Olympics) and you’ve got a group of seven other guys with you. If you’re feeling the pressure, the experienced guys can calm you down and in London, they put me and Adam (Gemili) in the same apartment as Dwayne (Chambers) and Christian (Malcolm).
“It’s just going to be me on the start line this time and there won’t be three other guys with me but I think that’s something I prefer. I got in to this sport to do 200m at World, Olympic and Commonwealth level this is my opportunity to do it.
“It’s brilliant because when people start doing well, you can feed off their positive energy – you can start thinking ‘if so-and-so wins the 100m, then there’s no reason I can’t do well’.
“There’s loads of stuff to do in athletes’ villages. In London there were Playstations and Xboxes and everyone goes on about how great all the villages were in the past but they really were.
“There is a danger of getting tired when you’re running towards the end of the Games but I’ve been through that in the Olympics with the relay being literally the last event of the championships and that didn’t affect me negatively.”
He added: “Hopefully I can go there and have fun really. The reason I do athletics is to enjoy myself and there’s no better place than in an athletes’ village.
“It doesn’t matter how good I am, my mum has always said that if I’m not enjoying it, there’s no point in doing it.
“I’m still only 23 so hopefully I’ll be at the next Commonwealth Games and the one after that but I still want to enjoy every moment.
“Dan (Cossins) will get tickets for every session that everyone in our group is in and then my parents (Margaret and Richard, who live in Hilperton) will get free tickets for the heats, and then they get the option to get guaranteed tickets for the evening session on the Thursday, if I qualify, which hopefully I do.
“Hopefully I can do well and they can celebrate on the track.
“I’ve been extremely lucky that I’ll have gone to a home Olympic Games and pretty much a home Commonwealth Games within two years of each other. It’s something that you’ll look back on and realise that you were extremely lucky to do it.”
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