How a family holiday inspired Matt Stonier to secure a 'shock' place at the Commonwealth Games (VIDEO)

Matt Stonier was not expecting to compete at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, but a recent family holiday helped secure his place at Birmingham 2022.

The Team England middle-distance runner spent time away from the UK in South Africa and the change in environment proved fruitful for the 20-year-old.

"I spent four weeks in South Africa during Easter but that was literally on a family holiday,” Matt explained.

"I think it was such a good escape from intense training to just being on my own in a new environment, not really stressing or worrying about specific sessions.

"The change of scenery allowed me to relax and just run. I know it doesn't sound too scientific or special, but I think a lot just clicked from a good, solid winter's work.”

The change evidently did Stonier well. He’s enjoyed a strong season so far, including a shock victory in the Nike Emsley Carr Mile and also making his Diamond League debut in Birmingham back in May.

"From the start of the season, I didn't think I would make it at all [to the Commonwealth Games] and then after a couple of races I thought I'll either be really lucky to go or quite unlucky not to go,” he continued.

With the Games now under a week away, the Loughborough University Geography and Sport Science student is willing to push his body to the limit in the heats in order to reach the final.

"I'm not going in with the greatest expectations because the line-up is so strong. To get into the final would be incredible.

"I'm sure for some people they might go into the heats knowing that they can race at 85-90 per cent. I'm fully prepared to go and give 100 per cent in there.

"If I'm on the floor at the end whilst other people are jogging around me then so be it. I'll do anything to try and get into that final.”

Loughborough’s dedicated 2022 Commonwealth Games website features all the latest news, videos, and medal tables from Birmingham.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 22/136

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