Glasgow 2014: Niall Flannery ready after Diamond League

By Gemma CollisBBC Newcastle
Niall Flannery celebrates as he crosses the line to become 2014 British 400m hurdles Champion
Niall Flannery is hoping to continue his breakthrough into the senior ranks with success in Glasgow
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Dates: 23 July - 3 AugustCoverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, BBC Radio 5 live, Red Button, Connected TVs, online, tablets and mobiles

Hurdler Niall Flannery believes recent Diamond League meetings in Paris and Glasgow were the perfect preparation for the Commonwealth Games.

Having finished seventh in both, the 23-year-old 400m runner is determined to learn from those experiences.

"[Those events] definitely prepared me," Flannery told BBC Newcastle.

"I've learnt from it, I know that I just need to run my race and focus on what I'm doing because I know it works and there's no need to change it."

Flannery ran a personal best of 48.80 secs in Ostrava last month, but failed to get close to that time in his two recent outings.

"In the first one in Paris, I didn't do myself justice, I was a little bit nervous which isn't like me - it hasn't been like that this year.

"[In Glasgow] I got involved in running a race which was based on other people's races rather than mine, so I need to focus next time on what I'm doing not other people," he said.

"I was able to compete against some of the guys I've been watching on the television for the last few years.

"[It] made me realise that I am at that level now and that's where I want to be and that's who I want to be competing against.

"It makes me hungry to get to the level where I go into those races and be confident of being up there and challenging for the win."

Flannery won three English Schools and five British Universities titles as a junior, but until this year had not been able to make a mark at senior level.

His run in Ostrava crowned a remarkable 40-place rise to eighth in the world rankings since 2013 to eight and he is also rated fourth in Commonwealth and first in Europe.

The Loughborough graduate has also become British champion and made the GB all-time top ten this year and admitted his achievements have surpassed even his own expectations.

"I was expecting a breakthrough. Whether I was expecting as much of a breakthrough, probably not," he said.

Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles schedule
30th July (11:30-11:42): semi-finals31st July (20:15): final

Newcastle-born Flannery is now looking forward to his first Commonwealth Games appearance on Wednesday and has a "minimum expectation" of a place in the final.

"I don't feel like I would have done what I can do if I didn't make the final," he added.

"In terms of a maximum expectation, you never know, a medal would be lovely - any colour, I'm not bothered.

"If I could do that I'd be over the moon."