Lee raring to go after ‘hard work and sacrifice’

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The teenager, who won six Island Games gold medals in Gotland last year, will be among the first to compete following this afternoon’s opening ceremony at the Carrara Stadium. He lines up in Subdivision I for the men’s artistic gymnastics individual apparatus preliminaries, and could squeeze into at least one final with a near-perfect display.

Lee, Jersey’s first male Commonwealth Games gymnast, begins his campaign at 12.00 am UK time tonight, at the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre in Queensland.

‘I’m as ready as I can be and I can’t wait to get out there, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the competition,’ he said from the Athletes’ Village last night.

‘All the hours of hard work and sacrifice have paid off and I’m just excited and proud to be representing my Island on the biggest stage.

‘I’m not going into the competition with any expectations. If I hit clean routines it may be possible to make a final, but the standard is very high. There are a lot of Olympians in the field and just to be here competing alongside them will be a fantastic experience.

‘I’m just going out there with the mindset to enjoy it … anything else will be a bonus.’

Discussing the back-stage positives of being on Australia’s east coast, Lee added: ‘I wasn’t really sure what to expect, as this is my first Games and my first time staying in an athletes village, but it’s all incredible.

‘Everyone is really friendly and we’re all enjoying ourselves. It’s a pleasure to be sharing this experience with the rest of [Team Jersey].

‘And the food hall is massive. There are plenty of options and lots of different cuisines. It’s open 24 hours a day … it can’t get much better than that.’

Lee lines up alongside athletes from Trinidad & Tobago and India in the opening group, which also includes Jamaica, Singapore, Namibia and Cyprus. Two further apparatus qualifiers will follow tomorrow, before the individual and all-round finals on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Fellow Caesareans Bonita Shurmer and Rachelle Flambard get their Games campaigns under way on Friday morning (12 midnight UK).

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