Worksop athlete Tesni Ward is hoping to wear the red of Wales at this year’s Commonwealth Games.
The major international event takes place in Glasgow in July and August, and javelin thrower Ward believes it would be the perfect end to two years of injury woes.
Ward, originally from Wales, has endured a tough time away from the field of competition.
She told the Guardian: “I had to have an operation in mid June last year, to have a synthetic graft in my elbow.”
“They had to drill into the bone.”
“I tore my ulnar collateral ligament at an international competition warm up in 2012, then hurt it again twice trying to come back, so I decided enough was enough.”
Months of rehabilitation followed, but the GB Youth representative says she’s slowly but surely returning to full fitness.
“They had to move the nerve, so it’s been very temperamental feel wise,” she said.
“But I’ve been back throwing for a couple of weeks now pain free, so fingers crossed.”
And she’s coming back to competition at the right time, with a major athletics tournament just months away.
But Ward admits there’s no guarantee she’ll be representing her country in Scotland as the world watches on.
“This year I want to get back competing, stay injury free and qualify for the Commonwealth Games.”
“I’m aiming for the B Standard (distance) so I must throw it twice, compete at the qualification event and then I’ll only have earned a nomination.”
“The decision goes to a panel early in June when the team is selected.”
“I’ve thrown the B Standard a handful of times, but I’m not taking anything for granted.”
The 22-year-old, a former Worksop Harrier, says that qualifying for Glasgow will ease the pain of missing out on competitive action through serious injury and surgery.
“Qualifying for the Commonwealth Games would mean that the past two years of injury and stress were all worth it.”
“I’ve lost a lot of my support due to being off for a while with injuries.”
“So I’m just going to hope to avoid injury and get back to 100 per cent fitness – and hopefully I’ll make it.”
A graduate of Sheffield Hallam University, Ward competes for City of Sheffield club, and has won several national titles for javelin, including the England Senior Championships and Welsh Senior Championships.