Horsham and Crawley discus star Jade Lally is going into the Commonwealth Games with low expectations.
Tomorrow afternoon (Thursday) she will step out at the Carrara Stadium to compete for Team England, starting at 12.40pm British time.
Despite winning a bronze medal at the 2014 Games in Glasgow, she has been struck with back problems which have hampered her progress.
Last year she was suffering from a lot of pain in the run-up to the World Championships in London.
Having missed out on competing at the Olympic Stadium in 2012 when she was not selected, she was keen to pit her wits against the world’s best in her own back yard.
She bravely continued but her back problem proved too much to cope with and she ended up finishing eighth and did not qualify for the final.
This time she has enjoyed fantastic preparation to competing in Australia’s Gold Coast as this also feels like a home games for her.
Lally has been out in Australia since mid-January and does warm weather training each year Down Under working alongside her training partner and reigning Commonwealth champion Dani Stevens and the gold medalist’s coach Dennis Knowles.
Lally, 31, revealed: “Dani is the best clean athlete in the world - the Russians do not speak good English and history has shown it would not have been wise to train with them.
“I want to be one of the best discus throwers in the world and my improvement in the last few years is due to me going over to Australia to train.
“My coach is still Andy Neal, who I have worked with at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre since 2003 and I would like to thank - we work well together and he still keeps an overview of my development.”
The cold and wet English weather is not conducive to training and it is commonsense she should go to a warmer climate during our long winter. She feels at home there and her boyfriend is in the Australian Army based in Sydney.
Lally, however, is still struggling with back problems but is showing great determination to continue in her sport.
She said: “I am putting myself in good stead - this is a place I have been known to do well at and I am giving myself the best opportunity to succeed, which I think any athlete should do.
“My back is not fixed and is not 100 per cent. I have been having treatment here and working with physios on pain strategies.
“I am not putting pressure on me - I want to just go out there and do my best and see where I come.”
With the European Championships to follow in August, this year presents a double opportunity for British athletes to shine on the major international stage.
Lally added: “This is the competition I’ve done well in and Australia is a place I’ve done well in, so fingers crossed I can achieve something, without putting any medals around my neck!”