Ben Watson is targeting a top-five finish after being selected in England’s weightlifting team for the Commonwealth Games in July.
The 24-year-old from St Birinus Club in Didcot, who heard of his selection yesterday, is considered a likely medal prospect in Glasgow.
“I don’t want to put any extra pressure on myself by making a bold prediction or stating a target figure,” said Watson, who will be competing in the 105 kilogram category.
“But I would be very happy to finish in the top five.
“At the Commonwealth tournament last year I came sixth, so fifth would be a definite improvement.”
Watson has been a nailed-on selection for the 14-strong team since winning the English title in February with a two-lift total of 335kg.
This was only three kilograms less than the winning total at the Games in Delhi four years ago.
He sees his main threats coming from the Pacific Islands and Australia.
“I’m really excited about competing and it’s all the sweeter for having missed out on selection in 2010.
“It will be reward for all the hard work I’ve put in over the years,” added Watson who says he trains nine times a week.
He has been earmarked for success shortly after taking up the sport in 2002, under the guidance of his coach Philip Karlsson, then a teacher at St Birinus School.
It was Karlsson who was responsible for making the club one of the strongest in the country.
Watson is helping to maintain that the club tradition by coaching youngsters in addition to his role as a teaching assistant at the school.
He is not concerned about the elbow injury that forced him to quit midway through this month’s British Championships.
“It was only a niggle, but I didn’t want to risk making it worse,” he said.
“Because of my performance at the English Championships, I had the qualifying mark for the Games.
“Now I’m training hard to make sure I reach my potential in Glasgow.
Although he does not compete in the Clyde Auditorium until Wednesday July 30, Watson is looking forward to attending the opening ceremony on July 23.
“I expect the English coaches will want us to stay up in Scotland to train, but it will be nice that my parents and brother will be able to come and watch me compete,” said Watson.
He had to break off the conversation to take another coaching session.
“It keeps me grounded,” said the competitor with a chance of bringing a medal back to Oxfordshire.
Our top stories:
9:30am Saturday 23rd May 2015
Former Oxford United captain Mike Ford is relishing a return to management with Banbury United, after spending more than a year out of the game.
8:29am Friday 22nd May 2015
A HOUSE fire that forced people to jump for their lives was started by a businessman who accused his best man of having an affair with his wife, a jury heard.
3:16pm Friday 22nd May 2015
A WOMAN who went missing from Banbury has been found, police said
3:24pm Friday 22nd May 2015
TRAINS from Oxford could be disrupted after a person was hit by a train between Slough and Reading.
3:23pm Friday 22nd May 2015
TWO teenagers have been arrested after a robbery in Hythe Bridge Street.
9:30am Friday 22nd May 2015
Ryan Taylor remains firmly on Oxford United’s radar despite the signing of Kemar Roofe, according to head coach Michael Appleton.
7:54am Friday 22nd May 2015
ALL LANES have reopened on the A4165 Oxford Road after a earlier incident involving a broken down van.
8:22am Friday 22nd May 2015
A CASH boost is set to create a classics hub so that the city’s children have better access to GCSE and A-Level Latin courses.
8:16am Friday 22nd May 2015
A DROP in the number of people using Oxfordshire County Council’s park-and-rides has allegedly damaged business in the city.
8:04am Friday 22nd May 2015
TIME is running out to reunite the family of a fallen soldier with his memorial plaque before the 100th anniversary of his death in the First World War.
7:52am Friday 22nd May 2015
EVENING bus services will continue to serve Littlemore after a new operator stepped in to replace Stagecoach’s 12C service.
7:49am Friday 22nd May 2015
SIGNALLING problems between Didcot Parkway and Reading are causing delays to train services this morning.
8:38am Thursday 21st May 2015
A NEW £45m centre in Headington jointly run by Oxford University and the British Heart Foundation will hope to attract “the world’s best junior scientists and fellows.”
6:24pm Thursday 21st May 2015
BUSKERS were out on Cornmarket Street today campaigning againstplans to introduce fines for musicians who don't follow council rules.