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Welsh shot putter hopes to complete unique double at Commonwealth Games

28 Jul 2022 3 minute read
Adele Nicoll. Photo Martin Rickett PA Images
Just over five months ago Nicoll was part of the Great Britain bobsleigh team at the Winter Olympics, having lost around 16 kilogrammes to secure a place at Beijing.Nicoll returned from China to focus on athletics and last month added British Championships shot put gold to the bobsleigh World Cup silver medal she won in January.

“I’ve never wanted to be normal,” Nicoll said, ahead of making her Commonwealth Games debut after missing out on selection for Glasgow 2014 and the Gold Coast four years ago.

“The combination of the two is quite difficult time-management wise, but you just have to be smart with the periodisation of your training.

“The events look very different from the outset, but essentially they are power events which involve strength and speed and that’s the kind of athlete I am.

“Goalsetting is so important when I look at the layout of the year ahead.”

Bobsleigh career

Nicoll began her bobsleigh career in August 2020 after Team GB pilot Mica McNeill noticed her power in the shot put circle and contacted her via social media.

The 25-year-old decided to give the sport a go and just over a year later made Great Britain’s World Cup bobsleigh squad.

She said: “I was offered opportunity at a time when I wasn’t in a great place with athletics.

“I was in this transition period from junior to senior, and that’s hard for a thrower as it involves heavier implements as well as coming up against older women.

“The last four to six years have been about taking steps on that ladder and sometimes you fall off. But being in bobsleigh has ignited my motivation and ambition to transfer back into athletics and I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Muscle mass

Nicoll has added a few kilos to her 77kgs bobsleigh frame – “I’ve got more muscle mass now and I’m undoubtedly in better shape” – and is excited not only for Birmingham but the desire to become a summer and winter Olympian.

Only a handful of UK athletes have competed in both Games, with sprinter Montell Douglas being the first British woman to do so by making the Beijing bobsleigh team after running the 100 metres at the 2008 summer Olympics.

“To compete at Paris 2024 and become a winter and summer Olympian is definitely one of my goals,” said Welshpool-born Nicoll, who represents Birchfield Harriers and will be on familiar ground in Birmingham.

“It’s been an unbelievable journey so far.

“But there’s no reason I can’t become a winter and summer Olympian with the potential I see.”

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