Commonwealth Games 2014: Mo Farah, Adam Gemili and 13 other home hopes to watch in Glasgow
We pick out the athletes from the United Kingdom to keep an eye on over the next fortnight
Tuesday 22 July 2014
With the Commonwealth Games about to get underway in Glasgow, we pick out 15 athletes from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to watch.
Scotland – cycling
The 20-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise from riding on grass tracks at Highland Games to becoming part of Britain’s record-breaking team pursuit squad. Has bags of talent but now has to deal with genuine expectation too. Could win medals on the road and track.
Wales – cycling
Like Archibald is a recent addition to Britain’s all-conquering team pursuit but unlike her team-mate in red, white and blue, Barker has long been on British Cycling’s radar. Is the latest off the impressive Newport velodrome production line and has the ability to make the podium on track or road.
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England - athletics
Came as a welcome surprise to the organisers when the hero of 2012 signed up for the 5,000m and 10,000m. The Games need him and after his underwhelming marathon debut Farah needs a boost of his own back on the track.
Wales – swimming
Will be competing in her third Commonwealth Games at the grand old age of 23. Won a bronze and a sliver in Delhi and is Wales best chance of claiming a couple of medals in the pool having swum three personal bests this year.
Scotland – athletics
For Jessica Ennis at London 2012 read this 27-year-old from Perth for Glasgow 2014. Child is expected to win gold – anything less would be a disappointment. She is in form, having won the 400m hurdles at the Glasgow Diamond league last week.
Eilidh Child has urged Scottish athletes to not get caught up in the Glasgow atmosphere
England – diving
The 13-year-old only got into the Games on appeal – minimum age rules that apply to the Olympics and world championships do not cover the Commonwealths. She is already the British 10m champion and is coached by Andy Banks, who oversaw Tom Daley’s development into an Olympic medallist.
Northern Ireland – boxing
Northern Ireland’s main man – Barnes won Olympic bronze in 2008 and 2012 for Ireland and Commonwealth gold for the north four years ago. The light flyweight is the best chance of Irish gold in Glasgow.
Paddy Barnes offers Northern Ireland’s best chance of gold (PA)
Scotland - rugby union
The All Blacks and England are favourites to win the Sevens but it will be fascinating to see how Hogg adapts from his day job in 15-a-side – the Lions full-back has the broken running skills and imagination to prove a real hit for the home nation.
Northern Ireland - shooting
Been there, shot it and got the medal. This will be Calvert’s 10th Commonwealth Games since the full-bore shooter made his debut in Edmonton in 1978. Already has four golds and four bronze medals to his name.
England – shooting
At the other end of the scale from Calvert – Hill, a skeet shooter, is 17 and making her Games debut. She won a World Cup event aged 15 and is targeting a podium finish in Rio 2016 – which means a medal here is something of a must.
England – swimming
The youngest swimmer in Team GB at the London Games, O’Connor is now a grizzled veteran of 18. Has been swimming well and could emerge from the Tollcross pool as a multi-medallist – goes in four events, two of them relays, and has a chance of making the podium in all four.
England – athletics
The step from bright young thing to a medal winner can be a huge one and it is one Gemili is having difficulty negotiating. He is still only 20 but competition is mounting in England for sprint places – he could do with a podium place here to keep his career on track.
Isle of Man – cycling
Five years ago Bellis was in a coma after being knocked off a scooter. Once rated one of Britain’s best young hopes on the road – he rode in the 2008 Olympics – he has battled his way back from his injuries and will race in the velodrome.
Scotland – powerlifting
A former Royal Engineer, Yule lost both his legs in Afghanistan. Before his injury he had been a powerlifter and was persuaded back into the sport to help with his rehab. Came fifth in the world championships in April and is a medal prospect in Glasgow.
Video: Rising stars of British athletics
England – gymnastics
Life has not gone smoothly since Smith shone at London 2012 but he is back doing what he does best and will expect to come away with a couple of medals. And he needs to having been overlooked for the British team for the last European championships.
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