Team England ones to watch at Birmingham 2022

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The Commonwealth Games returns to England this summer as Birmingham becomes the third English city to host the Games, following London in 1934 and Manchester in 2002.

More than 400 athletes are expected to compete on home soil for Team England and try to bring them home.

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Team England were runners-up in their last games in Australia four years ago and are looking to go one better at this year’s games.

Here are some of the British stars to keep an eye on in the summer…

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Adam Peaty (swimming)

Three-time Olympic champion Adam Peaty will defend his 100m breaststroke title at the Commonwealth Games. (Getty Images)

Adam Peaty has already established himself as one of Britain’s most talented swimmers. He is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and was the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic pool title at Tokyo 2020.

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The Uttoxeter-born swimmer, who has won back-to-back gold medals in the 100m breaststroke at the last two Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Gold Coast respectively, will no doubt be aiming for third place, improving on his two previous silver medals in the 50m breaststroke.

The 27-year-old is expected to take part in this year’s games after recovering from a broken foot that ruled him out of the World Cup in Budapest.

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Peaty has claimed the injury validated his priorities and appetite for competition. He said: “That broken foot is one of the best things that has happened to me.

“It slowed me down and reminded me what’s important, which is family and the support around you. But it gave me that drive, I don’t want anyone else to have those titles. I believe from the bottom of my heart that world records can be broken again and I’m not done yet.”

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Dina Asher-Smith (100m women)

Dina Asher-Smith is currently competing in the World Athletics Championships. (Getty Images)

Dina Asher-Smith is the fastest Brit in history.

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At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, despite a hamstring injury, she was part of a 4×100 team that secured a bronze medal with the relay.

The 200m world champion will not compete in the semi-lap distance but will compete in both the 100m and 4 x 100m, winning Commonwealth gold on the Gold Coast in 2018.

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Given her busy schedule, which also includes the World and European Championships, Asher-Smith was expected to focus solely on the relay in Birmingham.

However, she has insisted that the magic of competing in front of a home crowd, combined with her thirst for medals, has pushed her to strive for more glory.

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She said: “I have three titles to defend at the Euros, another at the Worlds and a relay medal from the Commonwealths. But the pandemic and a slightly weird one in Tokyo got me thinking: if you have the opportunity to shine, just go and do it.”

Mixed triathlon relay

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Alex Yee won gold at the Tokyo Olympics. (Getty Images)

Despite Jonny Brownlee’s injury, expectations are high for Team England’s mixed triathlon team in Birmingham.

Both Alex Yee and Georgia Taylor Brown were part of the team that won gold at Tokyo 2020 and Team England are expected to go into this tournament as favorites once again.

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Alex Yee, 24, said he’s delighted to be part of the team, saying: “Winning the gold medal would be something special and to do it at home is a feeling I could never imagine. I will all.” do to get to that point.”

They will also be joined by Sophie Coldwell and Dan Dixon, who will be making their Commonwealth Games appearances for the first time.

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Matthew Hudson-Smith (400m men)

Matthew Hudson-Smith is aiming for gold at the Commonwealth Games. (Getty Images)

Matthew Hudson-Smith became European champion in 2018 when he stormed to 400m gold in Berlin.

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Hudson Smith will be aiming for gold at this year’s Commonwealth Games after suffering an injury on the Gold Coast in 2018. He was also an integral part of the 4x400m relay team that won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The 27-year-old from Wolverampton has suffered a number of injury setbacks in his career but heads into this tournament in fine form, having clocked a personal best of 44.35s in the 400m.

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Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Heptathlon)

Katarina Johnson-Thompson currently holds the British high jump record. (Getty Images)

Defending Commonwealth Champion Katarian Johnson-Thompson is aiming for gold medals again and again at this year’s Commonwealth Games after her success on the Gold Coast in 2018.

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The 29-year-old recovered from a torn Achilles tendon and was included in last year’s Olympic squad, but had to sit back from the heptathlon due to a calf injury.

The Liverpool-born heptathlete holds the UK record after scoring 6981 points en route to World Cup gold in 2019.

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She has expressed her delight at competing in Birmingham and returning to a place where she previously competed, saying: “For me it has a lot of history and it’s just perfect that the Commonwealth Games will be held there. It’s going to be great, I can’t wait.”

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