MONMOUTHSHIRE cycling star Lewis Oliva is relishing the opportunity to compete in his second Commonwealth Games, following a faster than expected recovery from injury.
The sprinter who rides as part of the Great Britain Cycling Team originally planned to miss the Games as he completed his rehabilitation.
But having completed a successful return to racing ahead of schedule Oliva became available for selection, took the opportunity and hopes to be further rewarded for his patience.
“In recent months the rehab has gone so well I can deliver some good performances” said Oliva, who hails from Devauden.
“We’ve seen a big step up from myself in terms of competition and recent training performances both on the track in Manchester and on the concrete tracks in Germany where I’ve been based the last month or so.
“It’s a pretty exciting time, I’ve been doing personal bests on the track and in the gym so I can’t really ask for much more.”
Oliva is hoping that the Commonwealth Games will be a stepping stone towards selection for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
“Coming back from injury recently it’s quite key that I look beyond the Commonwealth Games and not as an end in itself,” he said.
“So I’m going to train on through the Commonwealth Games and give myself some markers, whether it be through times or race results.
“For me the flying 200m is the only true marker where I can see where we’ve been and how far we’ve come with the recent rehabilitation and in addition to that then you’ve got the results of the competition itself so they’ll obviously stand its own test.”
Oliva is aware that all the British riders will have their eyes on Rio when competing at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome over the next two weeks.
“It’s only really the national championships where you get that sort of exposure to race against the guys you compete with and essentially competing for that team sprint spot come Olympics in a couple of years’ time,” Oliva told British Cycling.
“So it’s good to have everybody given the opportunity to race for their home nations at the same competition and it should make for a good race.”