It might have looked like a foregone conclusion but Gateshead’s Niall Flannery admitted he wasn’t able to relax until he saw his name actually confirmed for this summer’s Commonwealth Games.
Flannery has already had a season to remember, winning the first eight 400m hurdles races he has entered and lowering his personal best to 48.96 seconds in the process.
That came at the end of May in Belgium and was significant for another reason, as it marked the first time he had dipped under England Athletics’ Commonwealth Games A standard of 49.10.
However, former Gateshead Harrier Flannery had more than two weeks to wait until his spot on England’s athletics team for Glasgow 2014 was confirmed.
Now that it is all out in the open, the 23-year-old insists he will start planning for an assault on the podium at his first Commonwealth Games.
“It was fantastic when I found out that I had been selected for the team,” he said. “Everything has been going well this year but it is always a relief when you see your name has been confirmed.
“You don’t want to get ahead of yourself and, even though I have had a good year, I wasn’t about to start celebrating until my place was actually confirmed.
“Everything I have been doing this year has been geared towards the Commonwealth Games and things have actually been going better than I expected, which is great.
“I think my results this year are down to a multitude of things but mainly the fact that I am a year older and a year more mature and I have learnt a lot from the past few seasons.”
So far this year Flannery has collected domestic victories at the BUCS Championships and Loughborough International as well as winning in Japan, Belgium and the Czech Republic.
But as he prepares to make his Commonwealth Games bow at Glasgow 2014, Flannery isn’t about to get carried away with repeating the trick.
“I haven’t really thought about my plans or goals for Glasgow as of yet, I am just enjoying being selected for now,” he added.
“I will sit down with my coach and make a plan soon; I still have the British Championships to come.”
The Lloyds Bank Local Heroes programme, in partnership with SportsAid, continues to provide support and funding to emerging British athletes. Over 1,200 Local Heroes have benefited from the programme since 2008. Follow future stars at facebook.com/lloydsbankocalheroes