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By Oli Dickson Jefford
Nottingham triathlon star Sophie Coldwell believes her Commonwealth Games pedigree can push her onto the podium in Birmingham this summer.
Coldwell, 27, competed at the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, finishing sixth on her major Championship debut.
Having thrived at the ‘Friendly Games’ four years ago, she’s smiling on her chances of a medal on home soil this summer.
“When it's a mixed sport event, and you're in the athlete village, it is a completely different atmosphere to be a part of. Being in Gold Coast will definitely help me,” she said.
“Being in Gold Coast was about going, competing and soaking up all the experience that I could as well as the atmosphere, learning what it is like to be in a big team environment like that.
🥇 Alex Yee
🥇 Jonny Brownlee
🥇 Georgia Taylor-Brown
Alongside Sophie Coldwell, three Olympic triathlon mixed relay gold medallists are the first athletes named for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 25, 2022
“Triathlon is quite a small sport team compared to swimming, cycling or athletics teams. Learning about being in a big team and the environment will hopefully allow me to put that into practice for this year so I can hopefully win a medal.”
“It was a big goal to qualify for the Commonwealths, and especially with them being a home Games, that definitely adds to wanting to be there and wanting to compete.
“Also after the pandemic, having people there is one thing, but having people there who will be friends and family makes it even more special to be there and race.”
A home Commonwealth Games is not the only race on home soil that Coldwell is looking forward to this year, with the World Triathlon Championship Series returning to Leeds on June 11 and 12.
Last year’s race in the city was a landmark moment for the 27-year-old, a third-place finish seeing her on a World Series podium for the first time in her career.
Coldwell admits the result helped her shed doubts over competing at the highest level and gave her the belief to perform on the world stage.
Having been the Team GB reserve in Tokyo, Coldwell is a coiled spring ahead of a busy summer of swim, bike, run.
She commented: “Leeds last year for me was and definitely will be one of the best days of my sporting career. It was the first time I managed to get on a World Series podium, and all my friends and family were there.
— British Triathlon (@BritTri) April 26, 2022
“Before Leeds, I felt like I was able to put out training sessions that were hinting that I should be able to get on the podium, but I just hadn't been able to put it into a race, and it was getting really frustrating.
“It was getting to the point where I was thinking if I would ever be able to put it together into a race, it was close but no cigar, but Leeds was a real turning point.
“Once you have done it you are like: ‘you can do it, you do deserve to be on these start lines, and I am an athlete who can get on to podiums.’
“It was a real shift in mentality for me after that, and it gave me a platform to build on through the year and hopefully build on year on year with major events on the horizon as well.”
Swim, bike, run in Britain will have a 2022 to remember with AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds on 11-12 June, triathlon and paratriathlon at Birmingham Commonwealth Games on 29 and 31 July, and World Triathlon Para Series Swansea on 6 August. https://www.britishtriathlon.org/events/major-events