Daniel Awde says England’s 4x400m team has an “awesome balance” and will be looking to “prove themselves” at the 2014 Commonwealth Games which begin in Glasgow today.
The 25-year-old was included in Team England’s 42-strong squad for the Games in June and believes the blend of youth and experience within the 4x400m team will stand England in good stead.
Joining Awde are 32-year-old Conrad Williams – a veteran of the 2010 Commonwealths, the European Championships and World Championships – and 20-year-old Matthew Hudson-Smith.
“I think it’s going to be an awesome balance,” said the Woodford Green with Essex Ladies sprinter. “I know we’re going to have young guys there – myself included – who want to prove ourselves and stake our claim in this event and perform on the stage as it is.
“On the other hand, you’ve got experienced guys like Conrad [Williams], who’s done I don’t know how many 4x400s in his time. He knows what happens; he’s kind of our mentor when it comes to these things.
“Myself previously, when I went to the World Indoors and the World Relays in the Bahamas, I was asking him questions and trying to get an idea of what’s going on because there’s just little things that you have to pick up on.
“He’s going to be passing that on and you’re going to have us young guys ripping it up and tearing it up to try and stay in the picture,” added Awde.
The Games, which run until August 3, will be Awde’s first after injury forced him to miss the 2010 Commonwealths in Delhi, India.
Hammersmith-born Awde has competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games though, and says he is expecting a similarly vociferous atmosphere to the 2012 London Olympics.
“I will never, ever forget the morning of the decathlon in London because the noise was just unreal,” recalled Awde. “It raises your game; you can’t help but respond to it.
“I feel slightly envious of the Scottish athletes, because they get the brunt of it, but there’s going to be a lot more domestic fans up there because it’s not so far to travel. I can’t wait – the noise is going to be really good.”
And Awde is determined to use the bitter disappointment of missing out four years ago to drive him forward this time around.
“When I chat to the people that did go, I can’t help but think I missed an opportunity,” concedes Awde. “Nothing, yet, will compare to the morning after the decathlon in London, because that was probably my lowest point [injury forced Awde to pull out after the second event] and it took me a long time to get out of that hole.
“But, here I am, I’m trying something new and I’m enjoying myself. So hopefully, that will be the end of my lows.
“That was, when it came to it, a really tough decision [to miss the 2010 Commonwealths],” explained Awde. “That was something I really wanted to do, I really wanted to go to them but I was thinking ahead long-term, so it was a difficult decision. I’ve got my chance now, albeit at a different event, so I want to put those demons to bed.”