COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Bishop hopes to be big noise in Glasgow

This Is Wiltshire: Chippenham's David Bishop Chippenham's David Bishop

AS a kid, David Bishop used to travel with dad to Ibrox to support his beloved Glasgow Rangers – now he will get the chance to make a name for himself in the city, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

Bishop will step out onto the newly laid track at Hampden Park a week tomorrow (Friday, August 1) resplendent in his Scotland kit for the heats of the men’s 1500m.

It will be the 27-year-old Chippenham runner’s biggest event of his career to date and Bishop will have to treat his heat like a final if he is to progress.

But no matter what the result, an appearance on home soil in such a big event is a landmark milestone for the ex-Hardenhuish School pupil.

“It will be a very proud moment for me,” said Bishop. “My dad used to drive us up to Glasgow to watch Rangers then afterwards we stayed the night with my gran who lives in the city.

“My parents will be there and I am really looking forward to it. This is an event that I have been building up towards for some years.

“I did the World Student Championships in Beijing (in 2011) and then represented Great Britain at the European Athletics Team Championships in 2013.

“This is another step forward because this is my first multi sport championships and it should be a great event to be part of especially having missed out on the London Olympics.”

Bishop has certainly paid his dues in the sport and is no overnight success. He won his first Wiltshire 1500m title as a 14-year-old in 2001 in a time of 4:47.6 and year on year has made steady progress ever since.

In 2008 he won a scholarship to New Mexico University in Albuquerque and that has been his winter base ever since as he moved from student to part-time athletics coach at the university, returning only in the spring to prepare for the European summer season.

Selection for the World Students in 2011 was a significant moment but his big breakthrough came the following year when he broke 3:40 for the first time with a personal best of 3:37.51, the fourth quickest in the UK, narrowly missing out on selection for the London Olympics.

His first GB vest came last year and now he is getting the chance to perform in his home city “I know I missed out on London but the chance to compete in a major championships in your home city doesn’t come around very often and certainly won’t happen again my lifetime,” said Bishop.

“I remember when I was in Beijing for the World Students the roar that went up whenever a Chinese athlete stepped onto the track was amazing and I am expecting something similar in Glasgow.

“I know I am not the quickest in the field and the competition in the 1500m will be extremely strong, particularly among the British runners as the standard has really taken off this summer.

“But I want to make the final and, if I do that, I would probably be able to look back in the future and be happy. If I do make the final then I will be determined to give it a go and make sure I am in the hunt. It would be nice to make an impact.”

FOLLOW THE PROGRESS OF WILTSHIRE'S COMPETITORS AT THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES, WITH NEWS & REACTION AT GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK/SPORT AND WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT AND IN NEXT WEEK'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND WILTSHIRE TIMES

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