Australian sprinter Steve Solomon has said he wants to put his name in the record books when he competes at next week’s Commonwealth Games.
The 21-year-old will be taking part in both the 400m and 4x400m events in Glasgow and says he can’t wait to not only take part in his first Commonwealth Games, but also to try and add his name into Australian sporting history.
Speaking to jewishnews.co.uk from the Aussie’s training base in Gateshead, he said: “Australia has a rich history at the Games and I’m looking forward to doing my best to add to this. I’m very excited to be competing here and I’m certainly looking to learn from the experience as much as I can.”
Solomon is used to taking part in top-class sporting events, having been part of the Australian 4x400m relay team at the 2011 World Championships and also reaching the final of the 400m at the 2012 London Olympics. But missing a large part of last season through injury, he feels he’s in good shape to do well in Glasgow. He said: “Last season’s back injury was no minor injury, but after some excellent rehabilitation work at Stanford University, I’m feeling in a much better position this year and have largely overcome the precarious situation of my body. I’ve been running well throughout 2014, and hope that I can produce some pleasing results in Glasgow for my country, my fans and for myself.”
Saying it will be an ‘enormous achievement’ to win gold, he says: “The Commonwealth has an extremely talented sprint pool, with Jamaica, Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago to name just a few. If I’m able to execute my race plans, I think I will put myself in a very competitive position for the Games.
“To be champion of the Commonwealth would be an enormous achievement, and I will certainly be doing all in my control to put my body in a position for success.”
Having also competed at the Maccabiah Games – in 2009 as the captain of their football team and 2013 in track and field, he also says he’ll be looking to experience what Jewish Glasgow has to offer. “I will look to attend a Shabbat service should the village have one”, he says. “I went to one in London and it was fantastic to connect with fellow Jewish athletes in the village.
“Judaism means a lot to me, and it brings me great joy that I can act as a role model in my work both on and off the track to the Jewish Community.”
Australia is also set to have another Jewish athlete at the Games, with Amy Myer competing in the judo.