FEATURE: Didcot duo seek to build on the highs of Glasgow

Ben Watson (left) and Dan Rivers

Ben Watson (left) and Dan Rivers

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

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

Ryan Taylor relishing fight for Oxford United starting role

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

RYAN Taylor is relishing the prospect of battling for a place in Oxford United’s striking quartet next season after completing his move yesterday.

CRICKET: Pykett and Goodman steer Tiddington to massive win

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 27th May 2015

EARLY season Cherwell League Division 1 pacesetters Tiddington thrashed Oxford 2nd by a massive 184 runs to go clear at the top and send their visitors to the foot of the table.

AUNT SALLY: Tony Nicholls, 79, in super show to top hit parade

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 27th May 2015

Pensioner Tony Nicholls showed the youngsters how it’s done by top-scoring in the Greene King Oxford & District League, writes ANDY BEAL.

CRICKET: Radley maintain 100 per cent record with double success

Oxford Mail:

7:50am Wednesday 27th May 2015

DIVISION 1 new boys Radley maintained their perfect start to the season with a double victory.

FOOTBALL: Hot-shot John Mills in demand after goalscoring exploits

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

SHARP-SHOOTER John Mills has yet to decide where he’ll be playing his football next season after a stellar campaign with Didcot Town, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

Ryan Taylor signs for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

5:30pm Tuesday 26th May 2015

RYAN Taylor has become Oxford United's third signing of the summer after agreeing a two-year deal with the club.

FOOTBALL: Justin Merritt's relishing step into unknown

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Oxford City general manager Justin Merritt feels that his side’s change of divisions next season is a mixed blessing, but is relishing the new challenge.

Oxford United installed as third favourites for League Two title

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Oxford United have been named as one of the favourites for the Sky Bet League Two title next season.

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: Oxford United are beaten by 92nd-minute penalty

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015

AN injury-time penalty from Everton’s Paige Williams inflicted an agonising 3-2 defeat on Oxford United in the FA Women’s Super League 2, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

CRICKET: Hugo Darby cracks super ton to spark Banbury victory

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Hugo Darby smashed a brilliant century as Banbury beat High Wycombe by six runs in the ECB Twenty20 Home Counties quarter-finals yesterday.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree