BETH POTTER is something of an old hand at the Commonwealth Games these days, with Birmingham 2022 being her third appearance. 

However, this year is the first time she goes into a Games with true medal aspirations. 

Potter’s Commonwealth Games journey to this point has been far from typical. 

On her debut in 2014, she raced the 5000m and 10,000m on the track before four years later becoming the first athlete ever to compete in two different sports for Team Scotland at the same Games having been selected for both athletics and triathlon following her switch to the latter the previous year. 

However, it is this year that Potter appears to have her best chance yet of making a real impact. 

The Glaswegian’s recent results suggest she’s in the form of her life. 

In the past few weeks alone, Potter has won bronze at the World Triathlon Sprint Championships before claiming silver at the sport’s top tier of events, the World Series race in Hamburg. 

Potter is never one to get over excited about things, but she admits her impressive recent results bode well and that she will stand on the start line in Birmingham today with lofty aspirations. 

“This time around, I’m going in expecting myself to be on the podium, which is quite different from last time I was at the Commonwealth Games,” the 30-year-old says. 

“This time, it’s a real opportunity to see what I can do and I definitely want to be coming home with some bling, that’s for sure.” 

Potter’s switch to triathlon, made just months after she made her Olympic debut on the track, was viewed with scepticism in some quarters but she has well and truly proved her doubters wrong.  

A European title in 2019 has been followed up by consistently impressive results in the World Cup, World Series and Arena Games. 

Her primary strength in triathlon has, unsurprisingly, always been the run, which was underlined by her unofficial 5k world record last year. 

But Potter’s appetite for hard work, bolstered by her training group which includes the Olympic champion Brownlee brothers, was always bound to pay off.  

And she admits that her form this season is just reward for the countless hours she spent over the winter pushing herself to the absolute limit. 

“The bike was a huge focus for me this winter and I know that if I put the work in then, at some point, it’ll come good - and I definitely put the work in this winter. I can’t even remember how many cold, wet mornings I was out cycling with the group so I feel confident I’ve put the effort in and I’ll hopefully reap the rewards,” she says.  

“I couldn’t have done any more this winter – I’ve done literally everything I could have to improve my biking and I take comfort in knowing I couldn’t have done a single thing more. This has been my best winter – I’ve been really consistent and I’ve turned up for the sessions whether they be good, bad or ugly. I’ve really pushed myself in terms of putting myself outside of my comfort zone and that’s starting to show in races. 

“Really, all three disciplines are going well so it’s now about putting myself in the right position in races to get the results.” 

Alongside Potter in Scotland’s triathlon squad are Grant Sheldon, Cameron Main and Sophia Green, as well as para-athlete, Alison Peasgood, but it is Potter who has the loftiest expectations upon her shoulders. 

Now five years into her triathlon career, Potter has amassed considerable experience but she does, she feels, still lag behind many of her competitors when it comes to race nous. 

In that department, she is quickly catching up but she knows that today, there will be no room for mistakes. 

The Commonwealth Games can, at times, have a weakened field but there is nothing weak about the start list for the women’s race today. 

Hot favourite for gold is reigning Olympic and world champion, Flora Duffy from Bermuda while also likely to be in the mix are 2020 world champion and Olympic silver medallist, Georgia Taylor-Brown and world number five Sophie Coldwell from England. 

A medal today will, Potter knows, require a monumental effort and she is well aware of the task in front of her but she is also never one to shirk a challenge and so is ready for the battle for silverware. 

“I’m very much treating it as if it’s just another race - it’s the same people I always race against so I don’t want to do things any differently,” she says. 

“I’ve been in and around all the top girls throughout the season and the only one I’ve not beaten is Georgia (Taylor-Brown) so it’s good that I’m familiar with who I’ll be up against. 

“I’m a confidence racer so when my confidence is high, it helps hugely. And I’m feeling in good form so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do.”