COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Big names holding no fears for Danny

COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Big names holding no fears for Danny

British 200m champion Danny Talbot will run for England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

Rachel Williams

First published in Sport News by

DANNY Talbot reckons he handed himself a monumental confidence boost ahead of the Commonwealth Games by mixing it with the world’s best at last weekend’s Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix.

The Trowbridge Tornado was fifth (20.44) in the 200m at last week’s Diamond League meeting and the 23-year-old proved to himself that he can keep up with the fastest around, including current world number one Warren Weir.

Jamaican ace Weir (20.30) finished second behind Panama’s Alonso Edward (20.25) and Talbot, who is currently at the England squad’s Manchester holding camp ahead of the Commonwealth Games, which get underway next week, believes that he can challenge the world’s top 200m stars in Glasgow.

“I came fifth against a world-class field and wasn’t that far off the top guys in the world. I’m confident I can go there and challenge Warren Weir, like I did on the weekend,” said Talbot.

“Alonso Edward won, who is third in the world this year, Weir was second, Curtis Mitchell came third, who was third at the World Champs last year, and Wallace Spearmon came fourth, so it was pretty much four of the best in the world this year.

“I wasn’t really that far behind them – I was only a tenth behind Weir and Curtis Mitchell and Spearmon only got me on the line by out-dipping me, so it was a massive confidence boost.

“The race went amazingly. It was probably the best bend I’ve ever had and then I got on to the straight.

“Spearmon’s one of the fastest of all-time and I was against two of the fastest in the world this year, so I almost expected them to go past me and I didn’t really believe that I could beat them.

“But now I’ve gone through that and I know I can be up there with them. That’s just given me a massive confidence boost for the Commonwealth Games and if I was with Weir then, there’s no reason I can’t be with him in the final, if I make it.”

Track star Talbot became a British champion earlier this month and is aiming for the podium in Glasgow.

He added: “I want to go into championships with the belief that I can win medals. The only individual championships I’ve done at senior level were the Europeans (in 2012) and I was ranked 15th going in to it on season’s best but I managed to come third.”

Talbot was this week confirmed in the Great Britain squad for next month’s European Championships in Zurich.

Rachel to live the dream in Glasgow

MELKSHAM’S Rachel Williams will realise her dream of swimming at the Commonwealth Games next week.

The 20-year-old, who has earned a place in Wales’ 4x100m freestyle relay team, will take to the water on the second day of competition in Glasgow next Thursday (July 24), with the final set to place that evening.

Williams trains at the University of Bath’s national centre for swimming and says that she can’t wait to take on the world’s best at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

“This has been my dream since I was 15. I was 16 when the Dehli Games were happening (in 2010) and I knew that it was too soon for me that year and 2014 would be the one to aim for,” she said

“Relay isn’t something that happens very often at the top level but I’ve done it with some of the Welsh girls and the GB girls in the past, so I can’t wait to do it in Glasgow.”

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