English judoka Kelly Petersen-Pollard is eager to win gold at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

Judoka Kelly Petersen-Pollard, who has been on the podium at three Grand Slam events in the last six months, is targeting gold on home soil at this year's Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

The 22-year-old claimed a first World Judo Tour bronze medal at the 2021 Grand Slam held in Abu Dhabi, and followed that up with third-place finishes at Baku and Tel Aviv.

Born in Birmingham, host city of the Commonwealth Games, Petersen-Pollard competes in the women's under-70 kilograms category and is looking forward to putting her all-round ability to the test in front of a home crowd. 

"I think you have to have a little bit of a strength in everything to make [you] that one per cent better than your opponent," Petersen-Pollard told insidethegames.

"But not just physical, mental dedication, determination... 

"And I'll always work 110 per cent.

"And that's what's got me here. 

"So I'd say that's one of my strengths is determination."

With the Games fewer than 100 days away, Petersen-Pollard's preparations are well underway. 

"At the moment, we're doing a lot of preparation camps," Petersen-Pollard added

"So we've got the European Championships next weekend and we've been in a big prep camp for that. 

"I'm traveling abroad quite a bit, training camps and competing.

"And then just before the Commonwealth Games, we're hopefully going to be doing a warm-weather camp in Alicante [in Spain]. 

"So that'll prepare us as a team.

"It won't just be training. 

"We've been part of a team getting us all together, having a bit of fun as well, and hopefully that'll get us the best prepared what we can be."

Petersen-Pollard and boxer Delicious Orie were both in attendance during today's unveiling of a giant England flag to mark St George's Day and celebrate the city's achievement of hosting a major multi-sport event.

Orie is also among the athletes poised to represent England at Birmingham 2022.

"You could just compete in the Commonwealth Games [which] in itself is amazing," Orie reflected.

"But then obviously having this, the fact that it's in Birmingham, I live about 20 minutes away from the stadium [where] I will be competing. 

"And it's just amazing having my friends and family coming in and supporting me. 

"That I just can't wait for and is the reason why I wake up in the morning and the reason why I wake up early to train, and it gives me the motivation and the drive to keep going."

Delicious Orie is
Delicious Orie is "so ready" for the Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

The super-heavyweight further emphasised that the unstable COVID-19 situation in the past two years was not easy, but now there is no "excuse" with friends and family able to be in attendance and offer support.

The Birmingham-based boxer is confident and excited about the Games.

"I'm literally consistently competing now anyway," Orie told insidethegames.

"I've come back from Finland about a week ago and I will be competing again in about three weeks, so I'm in regular competition anyway.

"It's [the Games] not something, like, I need to get ready for.

"I'm so ready, ready for it anyway."

When asked about their career goals, both Petersen-Pollard and Orie told insidethegames they aim to secure gold in Birmingham and then qualify for Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

"Mid-term goal would be to win the Olympic gold, compete in the Olympic Games and then turn pro," Orie said. 

"After that, it's all about competing, staying consistent, representing Team GB and just letting people know who I am."

The Commonwealth Games are due to take place from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham and across the West Midlands.