DAN Rivers and Ben Watson hope their Commonwealth Games success will be the shape of things to come.
Rivers won gold and bronze medals in rifle shooting at Glasgow 2014, with fellow Didcot resident Watson taking bronze in weightlifting.
The former next competes at the World Championships in Granada, Spain, where the action begins on Monday, September 8, while the latter is now recovering from injury.
But for both, the Commonwealths proved a real confidence boost for their careers ahead.
Rivers, 23, said: “It proves that I can do it.
“I have won before and got medals before, but when you win on a stage like that with so many people watching, it’s mental really.
“When they say you are Commonwealth champion, it’s ridiculous.”
Watson, 24, said: “I found it ridiculous when they said you are a bronze medallist, so I can’t imagine how it feels to win gold!”
He added: “First and foremost for me is the feeling that I can do it.
“I have got the capability to go to the next Commonwealth Games and challenge again.
“The weightlifting set up was unbelievable. I really enjoyed it.
“For the future, I have got that to take confidence from.”
Weightlifting’s world championships are in November, but Watson will miss them to recuperate from the stress fracture to his right shin he had to battle with in Glasgow.
He said: “I am probably not going to compete again this year, but I don’t feel I need to.”
Looking further ahead, Rivers has his eyes on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, while getting there will prove tougher for his friend Watson.
Rivers said: “My two-year goal is to get to Rio. In the meantime I have got a dozen hoops to jump through before that.
“Next year there are four World Cups and Small Bore European Championships.
“We are hoping to get some more funding because the medal target for England in shooting was ten and we got 15.”
Watson faces the difficulty that British men’s weightlifting is not funded by UK Sport – only the women’s team get full financial support.
“You need to send a big team to the World and European Championships to get people qualified for the Olympics and that is tough without funding,” explained Watson.
“It won’t just be down to my efforts to make it, so I think the next Commonwealth Games is the realistic target.”
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest Sport news
12:00pm Wednesday 25th November 2015
WATCH the main moments from Oxford United's 1-1 draw at home to Newport County in Sky Bet League Two.
9:30am Wednesday 25th November 2015
PATRICK Hoban felt Oxford United could not have done more to beat Newport County after the visitors hung on for a 1-1 draw at the Kassam Stadium.
9:00am Wednesday 25th November 2015
ABI Haynes and Amberley Vircavs both fired doubles as Kidlington Under 16s maintained their 100 per cent record with a 5-1 win away to Benson United.
7:50am Wednesday 25th November 2015
Dorchester put league form to the back of the minds to edge Westminster 6-5 on penalties and avoid an exit in the first round of the North Berks Charity Shield, writes Phil Annets.
7:50am Wednesday 25th November 2015
JACK Morton, Kevin Rookes and Jason Lonsdale all hit doubles for Carterton Town A in an 8-0 thrashing of visitors Combe in the Witney & District FA’s Fred Ford Cup third round, writes ANTHONY BARLOW.
7:40am Wednesday 25th November 2015
Luke Manning’s double helped Hailey into the third round of the John Fathers Junior Shield with a 4-1 win at North Oxford Con Club.
6:50am Wednesday 25th November 2015
THE Cherwell League will play 50-over cricket next season – but only in the top flight.
11:00pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
PATRICK Hoban expertly struck an equaliser as Oxford United came from behind to draw with Newport County at the Kassam Stadium.
10:52pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
6:52pm Tuesday 24th November 2015
Midfielder Ellen Hopkins proved to be Tower Hill Ladies’ penalty shoot-out hero, donning the gloves to save two spot-kicks as they reached the semi-finals of the OFA County Cup at the expense of Benson Lionesses.