Toni Minichiello-trained John Lane and Louise Bloor are hoping to make their mark at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Lane, a 25-year-old decathlete and Bloor, 28, who will run in the 4x100m relay, train with Minichiello at Sheffield’s England Institute of Sport.
British-born Lane moved to Australia aged three, only returning to Britain in 2009, but he will proudly be pulling on an England vest in Glasgow.
“I am happy to now be back in the UK and I always feel proud to represent my country. I can’t wait to compete for England at the Games,” the UK heptathlon indoor record holder said.
“My main goal is to score a personal best overall and realistically I could nick a medal. It all depends what happens on competition days because if you mess up one event that’s game over.
“It’s probably the 100m and the pole vault where I will pick up the most points. I feel ready for this and I hope I can compete well over all the events.”
Lane currently trains four or five hours a day, six days a week – and has seen a dramatic development in the event in recent years with mentoring from Olympic champion Jess Ennis-Hill’s coach Minichiello: “Training with Toni and Jess has had a massive influence on me. Not every athlete can say they train with an Olympic athlete every day and I learn so much from her,” said Lane.
“Watching Jess leading up to London 2012 and training alongside her has inspired me to fulfil my abilities and give athletics everything I have to offer.”
Currently England athletics has a depth of talented of female sprinters, something which Louise Bloor, who combines her training with her GB role as judo and diving nutritionist, hopes will aid the squad in Glasgow.
“I’m just delighted to have qualified because there are so many talented runners out there recording fast times at the moment,” said the former Maltby Academy school teacher.
“It’s going to be amazing as we are treating this as a home games and I know having the fans cheering us on will really help get the baton round.
“In recent meetings the squad has been looking really strong so there’s no reason why we can’t be on the top of the podium, we just all need to focus and let the nerves gives us that boost round the track.”
A serious back injury hampered the Rotherham athlete’s career, however the sprinter insists she is heading to Glasgow in good form.
“I’ve had to focus on sprinting now due to previous injuries but I really do feel ready for this and I don’t even think I’ve reached my potential,” the former long jumper said.
“I kept saying I would hang up my running spikes a few years ago but each winter has come round and there I am training again, and no doubt that will happen after Glasgow!”
Both athletes hope the Commonwealth Games will bring success and act as a stepping stone towards the Olympics in Rio in 2016.
John said: “Rio is my main goal and I am 200 points off qualifying for the Olympics as it stands. So I have two years and I am completely focused on getting there.”
“Last year proved to me that I could possibly go on and break 8000 points. It gave me a lot of confidence and I think this helped me carry my improvement into 2014 and the future.”
Louise added: “Like John I just want to get my head down and see how far I can go and what I can achieve. Toni is always trying to get the best out of us and if I get to Rio that would be amazing.”