TEENAGE speed sensation Rusciano Thomas-Riley has only one thing on his mind ahead of the Commonwealth Youth Games – gold.
The 17-year-old is preparing to head to Trinidad and Tobago next month where he will represent Team England in the 200m and 4x100m relay.
The Coventry Godiva Harriers athlete has battled back from injury over the past year but is now confident of challenging for a place on the podium after clocking an electric new personal best of 21.03 seconds earlier this year.
Thomas-Riley said: “I am excited to compete, I just want to bring home a medal – mainly gold.
“My main target is to win, full stop. I can enjoy the experience when I am there, but my main target is to win and perform the best I can.
“I know that if I run those times when I am there I can definitely medal. I might need to run even faster, I want to see how fast I can go in different conditions such as hotter countries.”
Thomas-Riley is enjoying a strong season on the track, with the Coventry-born sprint star also posting a 60m personal best of 6.77 seconds in February.
It is a long way from a frustrating 2022 that saw the 17-year-old’s progress hampered by a quad injury that led to doubts that he would even make it to Trinidad and Tobago.
Thomas-Riley added: “Someone contacted me that I had been selected and at first I didn’t really believe it.
“I was aiming to get to this event, but I didn’t know if would be able to get the standard in time or get my name out there.
“I felt proud of myself because I have come a long way from being injured last year to being selected to compete.
“I had a quad injury last season and it stuck with me all of last season, I was trying to compete and race with it but it led to me being more injured.
“I always thought the injury would come back. It was in my mind that if I ran too fast at a certain competition I might feel the injury again, but when I started dropping times I realised that I would be alright, and I can focus on the future now.”
Follow Team England’s performances at Trinbago 2023 at www.teamengland.org #BringItHome