Bella Vista hurdler leaps at chance for Commonwealth Games medal

NICK Hough has been representing Hills District Athletics Club for much of his life, but now he can add Australia to that after he qualified for the 110-metre hurdles at the Commonwealth Games.

Hough made the Australian squad after winning the national title in Melbourne recently, and now he has his sights set on international competition.

"I was expecting to run well, being the number one ranked in Australia, but you never know in the hurdles," he said.

"It's a tough event and if you hit the first hurdle it's all over.

"My main attribute is my speed.

"I was the second-fastest 200-metres runner in the country last year and I've got the flat speed and flexibility to get over the hurdles."

The 20-year-old has steadily improved in the past year, starting with a silver medal at the 2013 Melbourne Track Classic.

He ran a comfortable 14.12 to win the national title, but knows he was have to run under 13.5 seconds to stand on the dais in Glasgow.

"On my times, I should get to the final. I've run 13.65 and if I can run 13.4 I could get a medal," he said.

"My flight over the hurdles needs to improve, but it's hard to change your technique but I need to improve it."

Hills District Athletics Club founding member and coach, Ron White, said Hough had running in his blood and was a natural on the track.

"I coached his father," White said.

"He was an international and number two in Australia for a while.

"His mother was also an international, so it was in the genes I think.

"He comes from fine heritage.

"Both Stephanie Price and Jana Pittman were former Hills District Athletics Club members."

Hough, who was the recipient of the University of Sydney Academic Excellence award at the 2013 NSW Institute of Sport Awards, said that despite the enormity of the Games, he won't put too much pressure on himself.

"I'll be pretty nervous, but I've got nothing to lose and I won't be the one with all the pressure on me," he said.

"I have the chance to surprise a few guys."

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