Jack Carlin rediscovers passion for cycling with Commonwealth medal double

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Olympic silver medallist Jack Carlin revealed he had fallen out of love with cycling since Tokyo last summer as a Commonwealth bronze brought tears on Sunday.

Carlin took third place in the individual sprint after Australian rival Matthew Glaetzer was relegated for an illegal deviation in the deciding leg of their battle.

Though Carlin had already won keirin silver on Saturday, this time there was an emotional reaction as he admitted he had struggled to re-engage with the sport after the Olympics.

“It’s not been an easy few months, especially after coming back from the Games,” Carlin said. “I’ve not really let anyone in on this but I’ve really been struggling with the sport and finding my love for it. I fell out of love with the sport and almost became a robot ticking a box in training.

“I appreciated it so much before the Games and it’s almost taken racing in front of a home crowd a little bit to find my mojo and find my passion and drive to win or compete at the highest level…

“I’ve had so much support from Scottish Cycling, I owe a lot of my success over the last two days to those guys.

“What it has allowed me is to feel the passion again. I feel like the fire has been reignited and I’m excited for the next couple of years.”

Asked if he had considered walking away, the 25-year-old said: “I don’t think it got as far as quitting. If it kept going the way it was going I was struggling.”

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day Three
Neil Fachie and pilot Lewis Stewart took silver in men’s Tandem B sprint (John Walton/PA)

Carlin had put so much effort into his sprints that he had to be helped off his bike, taking some time to recover. That meant he was initially unaware he had been promoted to bronze.

“I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t even sure, I was so out of it,” he said. “I was running on fumes at the end. It was when they said, ‘Put your podium gear on,’ I thought, ‘What are you talking about?'”

Carlin’s bronze was one of five medals for Scotland on the day – the most cycling medals won in a single day in the nation’s history at a Commonwealth Games.

Neah Evans, John Archibald and Neil Fachie took silvers in the women’s points race, men’s scratch race and men’s tandem B sprint respectively, while Aileen McGlynn took a bronze in the women’s tandem B time trial.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day Three
John Archibald took silver in the men’s scratch race (John Walton/PA)

Fachie had been seeking a sixth Commonwealth gold which would have set a national record, but was beaten by Wales’ James Ball.

Archibald won individual pursuit silver in Gold Coast four years ago, but plans to savour his scratch race medal more.

“Sometimes you have to remind yourself that it’s a privilege to represent your country and it’s not something everyone gets to do,” the 31-year-old said.

“There’s three medals in a race and it’s slim pickings. I remember last time I didn’t quite relish it. You’re always looking to the next race. I think I’ll look at this one a lot more and enjoy it.”

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