McConnell looking forward to home crowd

26 January 2013 / 09:48

Hometown girl Lee McConnell is looking forward to an early taste of the Glasgow 2014 atmosphere when she competes in the new Emirates Arena, one of the venues for the Commonwealth Games, for the first time on Saturday.

The facility will host badminton rather than athletics in 18 months time, but on Sunday McConnell will race over 200 metes as she captains a Commonwealth select team at the British Athletics Glasgow International Match.

"I've trained in the Emirates a couple of times now, it is a brilliant new stadium," said the 34-year-old, a multiple 4x400m relay medallist.

"Especially for spectators, I think there will be a really good atmosphere created. I'm looking forward to being in front of a home crowd."

McConnell admits the prospect of going for a third Commonwealth medal in her home city - her first major championship medal was a 400m silver won at the Manchester Games in 2002 - is the ideal motivation to continue competing.

"I've always said as long as the body and the mind hold up then I would love to be part of Glasgow," she said

"The 400m is a really tough event. At the moment I still really want to be out there (on the track), but I don't know when that light goes out.

"I don't really want to put a stop date on my career, I want to keep going as long as I can and as long as I enjoy it.

"But at the same time I wouldn't want to compete in Glasgow unless I was really going to run well. I wouldn't want to go out there just to make up numbers and wave to the crowd.

"I'd really only want to do it if I thought I would be in that final and I would be battling for a medal. I've medalled in two out of the three Commonwealth Games I've done and I wouldn't want to be in a different position going into a home one."

McConnell's team will take on sides from Great Britain, the United States, Russia and Germany at the Emirates Arena.

Also in action are Dwain Chambers over 60m and high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz, while world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene goes head to head with Olympic 800m finalist Andrew Osagie over 600m.

Four Paralympic events are also on the programme.