DAVID ROBERTS SETS SIGHTS ON GRAND SLAM

15 Feb 2010

David Roberts, 11 times Paralympic gold medallist has set his sights on the elusive gold, missing from his amazing collection of medals, since he made his international debut in 2000. He is aiming to be at his very best, when he represents Team Wales at the Commonwealth Games later this year.

He said: "I am now back in heavy training after a frustrating period out with injury at the end of last year. Everything is moving in the right direction now and March is an important month for me, when I aim to be at my best at the British Long Course Swimming Championships in Sheffield.

David Roberts home thumbs up"This year, I have a burning desire to win a Commonwealth gold, which is the only one missing from my collection. I really want the Grand Slam of titles, I guess you could say I have the Triple Crown, of Paralympic, World and European titles. As a Paralympian, it is pretty special to compete at the Commonwealths, my category will be combined with another category, so it’s a bit different to the Paralympic Games.

"You may think I’m greedy, but I am so proud to represent Wales that I really want to win a gold for my country! I know it won’t be easy, but training is going well and it will drive me on to work hard every day, when I get up at 4am! I’m not getting any younger but my determination to be the best is a strong as ever. My first major Championships were the Paralympic Games in Sydney, and they don’t come much bigger than that! But, the Commonwealth Games has always been special to me, as I am so proud to represent Wales, as the sport has given me so much."

Chair of the Sports Council for Wales, Professor Laura McAllister, said:

"We always emphasise sport’s ability to foster national pride and you needn’t look further than David’s ambition to win gold for Wales at the Commonwealth Games for a great example of that. We all love to see top sportsmen and women succeed and I’d like to see Wales continue to do well and become the number one nation in the Commonwealth on a per capita basis (medals per head of population). It would be a huge achievement but it’s important that we strive to beat the best and be the best.

"We already punch above our weight across a number of sports and we need to make sure that we work smartly to ensure that elite athletes, like David, and teams that are capable of World class success are getting the very best support – whether it’s sports science or the very best coaching we can offer."

David took bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 and Bronze in Manchester in 2002. Despite breaking the World Record in both races, he had to settle for third place, beaten by an Australian at both Games. He added: "I have no doubt that it will be really close, but I can only control my race and be in the best possible shape."