Matthew Hudson-Smith looking for home Commonwealth gold
Matthew Hudson-Smith has finally made his big-stage graduation - now its gold he wants.
It's eight years since he won European silver in Zurich as a teenager but it's fair to say bold predictions of success to follow didn't materialise.
His 400m bronze at the recent World Championships in Oregon has changed that and he justified his favourites status at the Commonwealth Games with a confident win in his heat at the Alexander Stadium.
He has a busy schedule in his hometown before switching focus to the European Championships in Munich, a punishing summer campaign he is determined to embrace.
"It's been an emotional rollercoaster since Oregon," he said.
"I've said all year that it's three championships and I want three medals. We've got a plan for that and I'm relishing the opportunity.
"I've got a target on my back and I'm embracing it. You've got to have a chip on your shoulder, or you'll be complacent. I'm just going to sunbathe in the pressure of it all.
"Its job done, I just need to work my way through the rounds and not go crazy. I'm all about moving forward and executing my plan through every round.”
This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.
Hudson-Smith revealed he's been avoiding home for fear of being tempted by mum Cheryls's legendary cooking.
And admitted he’d been inspired by Christine Ohuruogu's story. She won Commonwealth Games gold in Melbourne in 2006, winning the first of two world titles one year later and then Olympic gold in Beijing.
Ohuruogu was famously a championship performer, perhaps not always clocking eye-catching times but, more importantly, winning races when it mattered.
"I don't care about times, people remember medals not times," added Hudson-Smith, who won relay gold at the 2014 Games in Glasgow but suffered a shocker on the Gold Coast, disqualified in the individual event and pulling up with a hamstring injury in the relay.
"I'm inspired by Christine (Ohuruogu) in that sense. I'm all about creating some history and creating my own legacy.
"I don't want to be arrogant, there's a difference between arrogance and confidence. I've got expectations and a lot of goals."
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