GEMMA Bridge is far from content with a whirlwind start to her race-walking career which put the 24-year-old well and truly on the international stage.

The Oxford City athlete enjoyed a stellar 2017 which saw the former cross country and road race runner take up the sport full-time in February and never look back.

A remarkable year was made all the more memorable when she was selected for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Bridge was arguably a shoe-in for a place on the England team as she had been consistently five minutes faster than the qualifying time for the 20km event.

She has a quiet self-confidence about her and is not happy to rest on her laurels, especially when the British record is in her sights.

The aim is to cut her personal best by two minutes and beat Johanna Atkinson’s seven-year-old mark of 1hr 30mins 41secs.

“I would love to be able to get close to 90 minutes,” said Bridge, who admits she is over the moon at her Oxfordshire Sports Awards nomination.

“I don’t think the British record would be outside of my capability based on last season.”

She added: “Training is quite hard at the moment.

“It’s always harder in the winter.

“For me it’s about improving on speed, that’s my weakest area, it’s not as strong as my endurance, which I have from running.”

Bridge, from Oxford, has been race walking on and off since 2012.

But, after a series of injuries while running, decided to turn to the sport full-time early last year and has since competed in the IAAF World Championships.

She juggles her training schedule with being a PHD student at Leeds Beckett University, and is willing to do all she can to ensure she heads to Australia fully prepared.

Bridge said: “There’s races indoors early February.

“I may do some of them. I might do some 10k races to get my endurance in as well.

“There maybe opportunities for races in Europe at the start of the year.

“It’s about getting used to travelling, managing my food, training and everything – I think that is good experience.”