Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Melbourne Success Is Nick's Big Challenge

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Melbourne Success Is Nick's Big Challenge

Article excerpt

Morpeth Harriers athlete Nick McCormick was on the verge of retiring from athletics three years ago due to ongoing injury problems following a promising junior career.

But 2005 signalled the start of a new chapter and results at the Norwich Union AAA's trials saw him hailed as the biggest men's middle- distance talent since Steve Cram.

Nick speaks exclusively to the Chronicle about his breakthrough year and his hopes when he heads down under in March . . .

LAST year was an incredible year for me as I went from being a solid British competitor to an athlete able to qualify for major championships and take on world-class athletes.

It was at the Norwich Union AAA's trials in Manchester that I ran the race of my life to post a time inside the qualification time for Commonwealth Games.

I then found myself in the unique position of having a pretty strong idea I would be selected, rather than waiting until the team announcement to discover if I had made the team, but it was still brilliant to be named in the England squad for Melbourne.

I now want to improve on where I left off last season ( a lot happened to me in 2005 as I also secured an agent and National Lottery funding through UK Sports' World Class Performance Programme.

This funding means that I can focus on athletics without financial restrictions and I have access to top medical support and am able to travel abroad for high- altitude training camps.

When I compete at the Commonwealth Games I can focus on letting my athletics do the talking, knowing that I have the best preparation behind me.

There is a bit of pressure on me as there is a level of expectation on the world stage, but I am getting used to the pressures faced as an athlete and I will go to Melbourne concentrating on doing well.

My result at the trials meant I had also qualified for the World Championships in Helsinki last summer ( which was a complete shock as I hadn't been preparing for that competition. …

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