Ben Williams: Winning Commonwealth Games triple jump medal is realistic target

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Newcastle-under-Lyme triple jumper Ben Williams has expressed plenty of confidence at winning a medal at next year’s Commonwealth Games following his inclusion in the Team England squad.

The championship will be held in Australia next April and Williams is looking for support from sponsors to enhance his chances of success.

“It’s my first major championship so I’m ready to go out there and do what I do best,” he told StaffsLive.

“I’m really looking for sponsorship which will aid me massively in achieving my goal of winning the Commonwealth Games, which I believe is unbelievably realistic. It’s definitely not out of my reach.

“On the domestic stage, I was unbeaten last year. Nobody beat me on English soil. So the two other guys I’m going out there with [Nathan Fox and Nathan Douglas] are great jumpers, but I don’t fear them. And I’m going to take that attitude into competing against the other athletes from other nations.”

The 25-year-old former City of Stoke AC member is now based at Loughborough and being trained by two highly respected UK triple jump coaches in Femi Akinsanya and Aston Moore. With roughly five months to go, Williams is already planning his training regime leading up to the championship.

“I’m feeling good. Obviously with triple jump it’s an occupational hazard to get a bad knee or a bad ankle. You don’t tend to get muscle injuries, it’s more joints and ligaments. So I have a few niggles every now and then, but it’s nothing that I’m concerned about. I’m in good shape now.

“I just need to stick with my programme for winter training and go into the indoor season. Last year I didn’t have an indoor season due to an ankle injury.

“I really enjoy competing indoors and need it to help me prepare for the Commonwealth Games, otherwise I’m going in there blind with no competition and it’s just going to be a bit of a mess.”

Williams, who attended Haywood Academy in Burslem, is also hoping that a successful showing out in Australia will boost his chances of making the Olympics in 2020 having unfortunately missed out on the last two.

“After achieving my personal best in 2015, 2016 was just a mess of a year for me. Mentally I wasn’t there. I focused far too much on the Olympics. It was all I thought about, I think I let it take over me a little bit too much.

“I feel like trying too hard in training leading up to 2016, it was causing injuries, and I was having to miss training. I didn’t have the balance there but that was just me being immature as an athlete having not been in that position before.

“So now I’ve learnt from that. Hopefully in 2020 I can go in there and be super calm to put myself into a position where it’s out of the selectors hand and I’m going. That’s the plan. Winning the Commonwealth Games will give me a massive boost in terms of confidence and that will then act as a springboard for the Olympics.”

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