Team England – Day 5 Quotes from this morning and overnight

By in People & Places

Monday 9th April 2018

After another successful display in the gymnastics, London-born Courtney Tulloch clinched silver with Dom Cunningham, from Birmingham following up with a bronze in the men’s vault. They said:

Tulloch: “I’m really happy, I came out here to dominate, I wanted to show everyone that I’m more than capable of just doing rings so I’m happy I got in the rings final and did the vault routine of my life today. The first one wasn’t the best but I’m happy I landed on my feet and then the second one was, I still can’t believe that I stuck it, but I’ve been training really hard and there’s still more to come.”

Cunningham: “I just need to keep doing what I’m doing, at the start of the year I didn’t even know if I was to the all-around, but I sorted myself out, I knew what I had to do to make the teams and I need to start making teams now otherwise for Tokyo I won’t be making.

“So the first competition I set out to get, was the Commonwealth Games, and it was a big ask as there’s people who we haven’t brought to this competition who have gone to a lot of the other competitions so I’m knocking people down as I go along and like I said, I’m here to stay. I’m in it for the win now, I’m glad I brought back a bronze medal, it’s another step towards the journey and although the vault wasn’t the greatest I’m still walking out with a medal and that’s what it’s all about. Sport’s always up and down as you saw yesterday with the floor routine, but that’s what it is.”

In another great outing for the gymnasts in the women’s gymnastics events, Southampton-born Kelly Simm secured bronze in the balance beam finals with an elegant routine. She said:

“These Commonwealth Games have been quite up and down for me, so to get this medal today and just to redeem myself from the individual all-around final. I’m so relieved.

“I just really wanted to prove that it wasn’t a fluke, I was so gutted after the all-around final and I’m really thankful for everyone that managed to pick me back up after that, my coaches, my parents and the girls on the team and the rhythmic girls also really helped pick me up, all the messages on social media as well. It really just gives you a massive boost and makes you want to show everyone you can do it.”

Lawn Bowler Robert Paxton, from Exeter, wins his match for the first round of the Men’s Single selections and said:

I’m ready to go on to the next few rounds, it’s always good to start off with a good win, it gives you confidence going to the next games. Back tonight at 8pm in a completely different position so I’m going to relax or a few hours and come back.

“The greens are going better and better every day with this weather. It’s warming out so it’s a bit better for us as well as for the quality of the green.”

Unfortunately, London sprinter Adam Gemili had to withdraw from the men’s 100m final this evening after sustaining an injury in last night’s semi-final. This also means he is ruled out of the 4x100m relay later in the Games. 

Gemili commented: “I’m hugely gutted to announce that I have had to withdraw from the 100m final due to an injury sustained yesterday. I am so proud to represent Team England and it’s devastating not to have a chance to compete tonight but the doctors have advised not to take part.

“I want to thank everyone for their kind messages of support. I look forward to cheering on the team and getting back to competing shortly.”

After a spirited display in the men’s skeet shooting event, Freddie Killander, from Cambridge, and Jack Fairclough, from Manchester, fell just short of the medal positions after a hotly contested final, finishing 4th and 5th respectively. They said:

Killander: “Yeah it’s a dream come true to represent your country in such a beautiful place as Australia at the Commonwealth Games, but to make the final and not come away with a medal is really tough. The competition was great and the other guys shot well and we just didn’t have it today.”

Fairclough: “As far as I’m concerned my qualification was great, all around I shot well. In the final I don’t think I could have done as much as of what I did. It’s been a great experience and I’m sure I’ll look back on it in about two day’s time with happy memories.

“It’s good having the team, it’s good having people behind you and when you’re part of the community and you get to see everything, it spurs you on a lot.”

Killander: “We rarely go to multi-sports events, obviously outside the Olympics it’s this and occasionally a European Games so to fly out as a team and to travel together and really learn from each other, we’re staying with a cycling team at the moment, and to hear about how they train and what they do and experience their successes with them, and likewise they see and feel how we do too. It’s fantastic to be part of a greater team, and you couldn’t ask for a better place to do it.

+90Kg Weightlifter Emily Campbell lifts 242Kg and won bronze. She said:

“I went out there and gave it 100%. My parents were here and I’m so glad they could come across the world to see my hard work paying off.

“The competition was tough, it took me 2 years to qualify for this, everybody has been working so hard and you had to be on top of you game to win medals and I’m so glad I pulled out that performance.

“My experience of the commonwealth games has been incredible, I would do it all over again. The atmosphere has been amazing.

“If someone would have told me 2 years ago that I’d even qualify for the commonwealth games I wouldn’t have believed them so it’s just surreal to win a medal. This is only the beginning and I am so excited to see what the future can hold for me.

“It puts a lot of pressure on you when you got to go last and everyone in the team has done so well but I’m very happy for the team, every single member of Team England that stepped on that stage has done really well.

“I hope Laurel Hubbard is ok, and I wish her a speedy recovery. At the end of the day, she just wants to lift, and people target her decisions but all she wants to do is come out and lift and have a good time and enjoy doing what we love to do, and people shouldn’t be making comments and make her feel horrible for doing what she wants to do.

Nile Wilson, from Leeds, rounded off an excellent Games with a total of two golds and two silvers across the Artistic Gymnastics’ competitions for the gymnast. He said:

“It’s been an incredible week for Team England and myself and I think the one that stands out is still the All-Around. I’ve seen some of the best gymnastics this week in this arena including today. I’m very exhausted by now but hopefully it didn’t show too much on the television, but it’s been amazing, it’s an amazing stepping stone for the future for me and for the team as well.”

Following on from Nile Wilson and Birmingham-based James Hall’s emphatic one-two finish in the final men’s gymnastics event of the Games, Hall said:

“To be honest, for me you really start to notice that these kind of competitions are a marathon and we’ve had four days of competition and all the other majors we’re going to go to are like this if not longer. So for me to first of all survive it, but to pick up a couple of medals on the way and give the performance of my life, I’m so happy with it and I’m so happy the team did the same.

“I’m relatively new on this scene. I’ve done a couple of majors but I’ve never been to a Commonwealth Games, Nile has and so has Max so to feel the experience it’s nice to think that where Nile was four years ago, I’m heading in that direction and I’ve got another four years and the rest to hone my skills and get back in the gym.”

Alice Kinsella, from Basildon, won in the women’s balance beam and said:

“I can’t believe it. I went in to the beam final knowing I could medal but to get gold is just crazy, I’m pretty speechless. The games have been incredible, I felt a bit more pressure and expectation with some of the more we’ll know girls not able to compete and I’m happy to have been able to cope with that. To win three medals and get the full collection is amazing, I really can’t believe it at all”

Amar Aichoun, from London, finished eight in the men’s T38 100m final and said:

“The experience was great. Not a lot of people are able to experience the Commonwealth Games, or a big crowd like this. So for me to come out here and be confident and to show my character to the world stage, it’s great. Although I didn’t come back with a medal, I did come back with something – experience.

“Everything is all about focus. You can enjoy yourself, but you’re here for a prime reason. The main focus is the race.

“Next I want to try and qualify for Europeans and see how that goes.”

Team England’s Paul Drinkhall, from Middlesbrough, was part of the men’s team that won table tennis bronze against Singapore, with a victory of 3-0. He said:

“I think it’s always whether it’s for a bronze medal or whether it’s to win the first match of the tournament it’s nice to win the first match in, for yourself and for the team confidence going into the next matches. But I think with the short turnaround it was very important to try and get that first match.

“We train a lot, we play a lot of table tennis, we also have short break between training sessions, so it’s nothing new I suppose in big events you get a bit more time, I guess it is what it is, and we dealt with it well and got the bronze.

“I think it was big! it’s always good to win against the other team’s number one, hopefully it knocked their confidence a bit. Then Liam managed to take control of his match as well. Yeah, I think it was a good performance from the team all round.

“Got to try and touch the ball and play table tennis that’s what we practice and that’s what we do. We kept doing it and your opponent has got to win sometimes they were a little bit nervous you can see in their shots sometimes they were holding back. We just stayed relaxed and we almost had it, at level 10, but I sat on the floor for too long and Dave slipped in my sweat! So that didn’t help.  But yeah it was great to win the match. We’re a strong team and we managed to win it.”

England had three women competing in the first round of the women’s 1500m, including Katie Snowden (London), Jess Judd (Rochford) and Sarah McDonald (Newcastle Upon Tyne).

Snowden said: “I felt good. It got to about 600m to go and a few athletes came past me and I should have really have tried to hold them off because then it was then hard to get back round them when they broke. But I felt like I did the best that I could and hopefully that’s enough to get me through to the final.”

Judd said: “I knew it would be touch and go whether I did it. But if you told me I’d run 4:08 before I would have said that’s not bad – I ran 4:14 two weeks ago and I’ve shaved off 6 seconds. I’m studying for my exams and I’ve got my PHD I’m starting so everything’s been a bit full on. I came out on the 25th but it’s been a real struggle back home training in the snow. That race was a bit of a sharpener.”

McDonald said: “I’m disappointed. It’s frustrating as I know I’m in really good shape and to not pull out one of my best runs, it’s heart-breaking really. I raced last week in Brisbane and that went really well. I just thought I’d have more coming into the home straight but there was four in front of me and I had to move round. I’ll need to talk to my coach and see what happened.”

Sarah-Jane Perry wins silver against New Zealand’s Joelle King in women’s squash finals:

“Joelle played a fantastic match, she’s such an amazing player. She used to be my bogey player, I was hoping to beat her before she gets to double figures on me. She’s worked so hard for this, I tried everything. I thought I got a harsh decision from the referee who didn’t agree with me but you know that’s how the game goes. She played amazingly with hardly any errors so what can you do. I gave it my best, you know I’m really proud of myself today, looking forward to the doubles now.

“When I was younger so many people said, I wasn’t the right body size or shape, but you know, me and Joelle are a very similar height. I was slightly overweight as a kid. I learnt to hit in different angles, there’s almost a deception in my game. You know I never listen to people I use it as fuel to push me on and it gives me that fire to get better and I’m very proud to be here today. Really proud of myself and thankful to the people who helped get me here, my family, friends and my coach.

In 4 years, the centre for squash will be close to home in Birmingham, so that’s just a train away. I’ve played on those courts loads of times. It will really be a home game! it will definitely help push me through the sessions.”

England’s sprinters were in action today in the men’s 400m semi-finals, with Rabah Yousif (London) and Dwayne Cowan (London) both finishing fourth in their respective heats.

Yousif said:

“It’s difficult from lane eight. I gave it my best and it didn’t work. I’ll move on from here in a positive way – it’s only going to improve throughout the season. Let me be honest, it’s just where I’m at this moment in time. It takes me a few races to get going. I’m happy with how I’m progressing, now I’ll take it from here and go home and continue.

“I feel we have a medal chance in the relay. We have a strong team so we’ll see how it goes. I’m in a good place, trust me.”

Cowan said:

“I think I was trying too hard. My fitness is not where I’d want it to be so I was looking for a time that isn’t in me. I should have just kept it to how I was in the heats and just gone from there.

“I drove out and (Bralon) Taplin was level at the start. I was chilling, but my technique down the back straight wasn’t correct. But it was all I had in me.  We’ll try to go for the gold in the relay later in the week. We have a good squad. Martyn Rooney is in shape, Rabah’s in shape, and there’s Matthew Hudson-Smith, so we have a good team.”

Team England’s Ben Proud, from London, progressed into the Semis with an astonishing time of 21.30 seconds

“In the warm-up I felt really good, so I thought I may as well.”

“It’s one of those things, if you make a mistake you know it will linger, but it’s all good fun. I turned it around and it made it quite funny, you know I’m not feeling bad about it anymore. It’s more of a thing I’ll have to carry over my shoulder- being disqualified from the commonwealth games but you know I can make fun of it.

“Right now, I’m clinging on to my last race ready to prove to the world that I’m one of the top swimmers.

Tomorrow night will be a different day, I’ve got 24 hours to rest. I would prefer it to go faster but sometimes it doesn’t happen like that. I think tomorrow night is more about getting that medal and defending my title, and if I can put together a perfect race and go a little faster then I’ll be really happy.”

Speaking to the media after Team England’s convincing 3-0 win over Malaysia which saw them qualify for the semi-finals of the women’s hockey, Hollie Pearne-Webb, from Derby, said:

(On 29 shots but just three goals) “That’s definitely something we’re going to look at and obviously work on, but I think first of all, happy with the win, happy to get through, learn from that and move on to the next game.

(On watching to see Australia/New Zealand play later) “No, we’re just going to keep to our normal processes, ice bath, recover, get back and it’s just another game, regardless of it being the semi-final, it’s just another game. So that’s what we’ll do, just stick to our normal processes.

“Our flick-takers can definitely do it, today just wasn’t meant to be so we’ve still got faith in them, that they can do it. It’ll just be a matter of looking over the video, we’ve got a training session and just having full confidence in our abilities which we’ve shown before, but tonight just wasn’t our night.

“Malaysia are a good side, so respect to them, they did well tonight but we’ll be focusing on ourselves and what we could have done better tonight and take that into next game.”

The men’s Decathlon competition kicked off today, and Sheffield’s John lane is currently sitting in seventh place after day one of the competition. He said:

“It’s been a long day. No wind, so I was basically battling the heat on the track, but just same as everyone else really. It was hot and challenging which was alright, but then it seemed to hit me. But 5 down, 5 to go!

“The track is rock hard which is great for the 100m boys and girls, but to spend two days on it is a killer. I few guys have gone down with niggles, but that’s decathlon isn’t it. Nothing went amazingly well for me, which is annoying. Shot and high jump were terrible, but the others were ok. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Adam Peaty, from Uttoxeter, won silver in the Men’s 50m Breaststroke final, and said:

“I’ve never had a 50m Commonwealth title, I’ve had the rest but not this one but as a person and as a character in this sport, away from the actual racing, I am so happy for Cam (Van Der Burgh), he’s put the work in, he got the conditions right whilst enjoying the sport and obviously performing as well. I think I’ve got to take a look at myself now, how do I get that enjoyment fully out of it, like last night. Even if I was enjoying tonight, I will be taking that to training and my performances are going to shift on hopefully

“It was probably the worst race I’ve ever done but that’s sport, you never know what you’re going to get, people have some down days and today was a down day for my body. Mentally I was there but it’s my body that wasn’t all there and to win races like that, where it comes down to a very fine margin, I needed to be 100%.

“I am happier with that silver than I was with gold the other day because I know where to improve now, it kind of gives me a reality check that even if you’re the world record holder you can still be beaten and that’s the most valuable lesson for me today.”

Loughborough-based James Wilby takes home a bronze medal for Team England in the 50m breaststroke. He said:

“Yeah, I will be doing the relay heat, let Adam get a rest up. Hopefully all the boys can do a good job in the evening and bring home another win and hopefully another medal.

“This is really good because this is where I finally feel like I need to be. Get a good cycle of work for the European championships, and then hopefully a podium position.”

London sprinter Asha Philip finished fourth in the women’s 100m final and said:

“I know I am so much better than that. It was a medal up for grabs and I’ve missed it. I’ve got so much in me, so I’m disappointed to come fourth again, I was so confident after the semis and then that happens, I’m really frustrated with myself.

“I’m not terrified of the situation, I went in full of confidence so I can’t put it down to that. I know I’m capable of more than that.

“I am looking forward to the relay now. We have a really good group and we know we can perform well. It will be great to run for England again.”

Robert Paxton, from Exeter, spoke after his win against India 21- 19 in Lawn Bowls:

“I’m making an interesting start.  If I come out of the blocks it will be a bit easier, coming from behind is not the best of scenarios but it shows a bit of determination and grit coming from ten shots down in both games this morning and afternoon.

“You just got to stick in and keep them under pressure, first evening games are obviously a little different. The Green was a little bit damp, but it wasn’t too bad. Got a little bit slow due to the time of night on the green.

“Straight back tomorrow, early night tonight. Hoping for a couple of good performances tomorrow. Could potentially seal the spot.”

Lawn Bowls Open B6/B7/B8 Triples team lost against Wales, but they still qualified for the semi-finals.

Michael Robertson (Peterborough) said: “Pretty close game but I thought we did pretty well to be honest. We didn’t get a huge amount of luck though. We didn’t play as well as we have done the previous nights but, we’ve qualified. We’ve got the day off tomorrow and then we go again at the semi-finals stage against the losers from New-Zealand the day after tomorrow.”

Paul Brown (Bristol) said: “It was a difficult night, the conditions on the green didn’t respond as well as other nights, it’s damp tonight so the balls didn’t respond as well, the pace was a little bit funny, it was just one of those nights. We’ve lost the game, we’ve had our bad game now, so we’ll roll on and pick up the game from the semis.”

Kieran Rollings (Kettering) said: “It was a really tough game tonight, we just need to get to the next game positive and hopefully we can come out with a win.”

Team England’s women’s Lawn Bowls triples team were victorious over New Guinea 42-6.

Sian Honnor (Canterbury) said: “We all played well, sometimes those games can be even more difficult than the taster ones, it’s just as important to get good weights and getting comfortable on the surface. but yeah, really good and very pleased.”

Ellen Faulkner (Cambridge) said: “Pleased with a very good start against Ireland. Followed by a good shot against New Guinea. we’re in a good position going into tomorrow.”

Katherine Rednall (Ipswich) said: “I think our shots today put us in a comfortable position, but we still have to do it and push hard. The damp is more testing than the game against Ireland.”

James Guy, from Bury, on his silver in the men’s 100m butterfly said:

“It was always going to be a tough call for me to win tonight, but I thought I’d go for it and give it my all right from the start, to get a medal just behind one of my best friends is fantastic.”

On tomorrow’s relay:

“Hopefully tomorrow will be a big finale in the medley relay, if you win it then you’ve kind of won the gala. Where we are right now, I think we’re in a good spot especially considering where I was two days ago, tonight was a great swim.”

On health over the last year, how it’s impacted his ability to compete:

“Yeah the 200m a few days ago, I felt like I hadn’t swum in about a week, it felt so bad, having that evening off before the final made such a difference but no I feel like I’m on the right track, obviously there were a few things we didn’t get right this time round, but we know it’s all there.”

On future race weeks and incident early, this week;

“The way Budapest [World Championship’s 2017] went the 200 freestyles was 1.45, one off my PB and obviously 1.438 on day four/five. I think it’s all there, I just think it will make a difference not doing the 400 free and exerting myself so early at the start of the week where this week I was lying on the floor almost thinking I’d pass out and have to call an ambulance, so not doing that at the start of the week will make a massive difference.”