TEAM GB cyclist, Jack Carlin, admits he can’t wait for next year’s Commonwealth Games – however insists long term focus is very much on the 2020 Olympics and delivering to the demand of high expectations.
He will feature as part of Scotland’s sprint team and compete in individual disciplines next April in Australia’s Gold Coast. Nevertheless he has his sights set firmly on the future and in particular the Olympics Games.
Carlin, who is yet to compete at either of the two major competitions, said: “It will be a massive honour to represent my country but as part of Team GB the focus is understandably very much on Tokyo. The games next year are viewed as a stepping-stone in the long process.
“On a personal level it’s great to have something to break up the four year cycle (between Olympics). The Commonwealth Games will provide me with that big event atmosphere and get a feel for what it’s all about.”
The top three most decorated British Olympians all come from track cycling; Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Bradley Wiggins are joined in the top 10 by team pursuit and omnium rider, Laura Kenny. Between them the four have collected an incredible twenty-one gold medals.
As a result of this Carlin insists that high expectations come as part of the job: “There should be pressure from the public. At the end of the day, as a team, we historically perform well on the track at the big events so we are always looking to perform to a high standard.
“We don’t turn up to a race to finish second. There’s obviously expectation to try and follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest athletes that have ever lived but if you keep your head down and have faith in the programme then there are certainly opportunities there.”
It’s certainly been an excellent 18 months having firmly cemented his place in the British sprint squad – as well as booking his place . Teaming up with Joe Truman and Ryan Owens he has put together an impressive collection of medals. Gold in Tissot Track Cycling World Cup events at Glasgow and Apeldoorn followed a silver medal in the European Championships in the summer of 2016.
This impressive form has been carried over into this year with the trio just last week claiming a bronze medal in Japan. Encouraging performances throughout the cycling squad were also displayed in the latest World Cup event in Manchester last weekend.
Despite the positive displays of late, Carlin, suggests that the best is yet to come: “We came into these events without being fully fresh and had been doing a lot of gym work over recent weeks. We’ve come away from these events better than we expected we would.
“As a team in Poland we recorded a personal best with the team sprint which obviously shows there are signs of improvement there. Things are definitely looking positive overall for the squad ahead of the Commonwealth Games next year and then Tokyo in 2020.”
Carlin hasn’t been shy to point out the personal impact of the 2014 Commonwealth Games – having grown-up in nearby Paisley. He believes the event three years ago has helped push his sport to break new boundaries.
He said: “Glasgow spurred the country on to push into other sports rather than just football and rugby – so there are more people coming through who are now making an impact.
“In the long run this will hopefully produce even better results in cycling for Scotland and Britain as a whole.”