Commonwealth Games target for Victoria Williamson as remarkable recovery continues

Victoria Williamson, right, won bronze with Becky James in the team sprint at the UCI Track Cycling

Victoria Williamson, right, won bronze with Becky James in the team sprint at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk in 2013. Picture: Tim Ireland/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Norfolk cyclist Victoria Williamson is closing on her return to full training and hopes she may even be able to race for England at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year.

Victoria Williamson, pictured in March 2016 following an EDP interview about her career-threatening

Victoria Williamson, pictured in March 2016 following an EDP interview about her career-threatening crash. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

The 23-year-old, from Hevingham, is still making her way back to full fitness after suffering career-threatening injuries in a crash in Rotterdam in January 2016.

The former Norwich High School for Girls pupil broke her neck, back and pelvis, as well as sustaining a deep cut to her right flank, causing her to miss last summer's Olympics. However, Williamson's rehabilitation has gone remarkably well and she is hoping to be back in the saddle soon with British Cycling.

'It's definitely about willpower. Ruth Anderson, our psychologist, has said from day one that everyone can't believe how well I handled it,' Williamson said in an in-depth interview with national newspaper the Guardian.

'But I guess I've just got that athlete's mindset of not looking at the broader picture. I take it day by day, ticking off little goals all the time.

Victoria Williamson on the mend in hospital in Holland, after a crash at the Rotterdam Six-Day.

Victoria Williamson on the mend in hospital in Holland, after a crash at the Rotterdam Six-Day. - Credit: Submitted

'We're now in that takeover zone where my care will go from the hospital to British Cycling. So it's just trying to get everyone on the same page and understanding exactly what I can and can't do. I've got time on my side because 2020 is the long-term goal.

'The Tokyo Olympics would be amazing. Six months from now they'll assess where I'm at but it is hard not to look ahead. I do really want to get to the Commonwealth Games next year – but you've got to be like a racehorse and put the blinkers on.

'It's no good me worrying: 'Am I going to make the England team?' If it had been picked before I crashed I'm in the top two Brits with Becky James [from Wales]. But I need to take one step at a time.'

Williamson has written a blog throughout her recovery and is now also using her writing talents ahead of her marriage to professional golfer Oliver Barnes back home in Norfolk this summer.

'It's going to be a country wedding, on July first,' the 2013 world team sprint bronze medallist continued. 'I'm writing for the UK's biggest wedding blog – Rock My Wedding – and I felt quite honoured that they asked me to write as a real bride for them.'

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