Team GB exclusive: Fit-again Wilson chasing return to podium
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Team GB exclusive: Fit-again Wilson chasing return to podium

13 June 2015 / 07:41

While Lewis Smith and Max Whitlock were winning medals at London 2012, Nile Wilson was watching on and plotting his course to the top.

The road to the top is however rarely smooth and it has been a roller coaster ride since then which has included a fair share of success and pain.

Five gold medals at the European Junior Championships in 2014 underlined Wilson’s potential and he backed that up with four medals at last year’s Commonwealth Games.

But when it all seemed to be going so well for Wilson disaster struck at the World Championships in Nanning.

Wilson had earned his shot at the big time by securing a spot in the all around final but was forced to withdraw due to a wrist injury, leaving Max Whitlock to take his place and win silver.

But the 19-year-old reflects on his time in China as a success and believes he showed exactly what he is capable of ahead of the European Games in Baku and the Olympic Games next summer.

“The Olympics is right around the corner and that’s the ultimate goal for me and it would mean the world to go there,” he said.

“I was in the crowd in London watching Lewis and Max and those guys were a real inspiration to me.

“From that day I was determined to be there myself and now I just need to keep working hard to get there.

“Making the step up to seniors was always going to be tough because at juniors I was at the top level and I was the one to beat maybe.

“But the Worlds and Commonwealths were massive for me because I really showed that I could mix it with the top guys and made people think ‘Nile can do it’.

“The Commonwealths really were life changing for me and it wasn’t just the performances but the whole experience was unbelievable.”

While the Olympics might be the ultimate goal, the focus for now is on Azerbaijan and the inaugural European Games.

It will be his first competition back from injury and Wilson can’t wait to get back to action.

“It’s a big relief to be going to Baku because I have been coming back from injury which is always really frustrating,” he added. “But I’ve tried to stay positive and work on other areas while I’ve been out.

“It’s easy to get down but it’s part of being a top athlete and you have to deal with it and try and keep improving all the time.

“I want to come back really strong and help the team win lots of medals, and it’s amazing that Baku will be the first European Games.

“This is a really good chance for me to show what I can do and show that I can perform to the highest levels.

“The way my training is going I feel confident and strong on the apparatus so I’m hopeful I can be in good form.”

© Sportsbeat 2015

Nile Wilson