Sam Walker is gunning for gold at the Commonwealth Games and has his eyes firmly set on helping England to the top of the pile.
The 19 year-old from Worksop is part of a 10-strong England team at the Games looking to build on their three medals in the sport in Delhi four years ago.
In particular, Walker wants to help the men’s team go one better than their team silver in 2010 when they lost out in the final to Singapore.
“I watched that final on television and I knew then that I wanted to be in Glasgow in four years’ time to help them win gold,” said Walker.
“I’ve been working hard towards this for months now and now it’s time to get going.”
“It’s basically the same team as four years ago, plus me and I hope I can help make a difference.”
“I know it will not be easy, there are some good teams there, but we are confident that we are one of the best ones and that we can do well.”
The draw has been made for the men’s team competition and England will face Caribbean opponents in all their group matches after being drawn with Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.
“It’s a pretty good draw for us and if we can win the group, we’ll get a bye into the quarter-finals and from there, we can push for the medals and the gold,” continued Walker.
“Put it this way, we will be happy with a medal but we will be disappointed if it’s not gold,” said Walker.
As well as the men’s team competition, Walker, who won the England Under-21 title in 2013 and his first senior title this year, will also compete in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles in Glasgow, giving him a busy schedule.
He had little time to settle into the Games atmosphere as the team competition begins today (Thursday) and continues through the weekend with the medal matches on Sunday and Monday (27th and 28th July).
The doubles competitions then start next Wednesday (30th July) and continue for the next four days after that with the medal matches on Saturday, 2nd August.
Walker will play the men’s doubles with Daniel Reed and mixed doubles with Karina Le Fevre.
The draws have not been made for either competition yet but he is confident of again challenging for the medals, especially with Reed.
“Hopefully me and Daniel will be seeded seventh or eighth so we should be able to get a good draw and then we can progress from there,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to the whole event and the competition is going to be really good.”
“Hopefully. I can come back with a medal.”