Guide Charlie Harding (right) and Oscar Kelly (extreme right) with other England team members in Birmingham ©ITG

Visually impaired triathlete Oscar Kelly believes the home crowd in Birmingham will be like having "a third member of the team" when he competes in Para triathlon at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games with guide runner Charlie Harding.

"I have not done a big domestic race yet so it will be amazing," Kelly told insidethegames.

"Hopefully we will have crowds throughout the course, it will be great to see that, the crowd will be the third member of the team."

Kelly took up the sport five years ago and last week he was confirmed as one of four visually impaired triathletes who will represent the host nation.

Kelly is studying sports and exercise therapy at Loughborough University and admits that his sport can stake a claim as one of the most demanding.

"Everyone can always give a reason why their sport is hardest but triathlon as a whole we have got enough diversity within the sport that gives it probably the title of the hardest," Kelly conceded.

"Swimming is the hardest to communicate because you can’t really communicate by speaking but we have signals that we use at the buoys.

"We always have a quite direct plan at the swim because that’s the least likely to go wrong as its the start of the race." 

The transition to cycling is an area which can cause problems.

"We were practising flying mounts the other day, going onto the tandem, that is running onto the bike at speed," Harding told insidethegames.

"You just have to keep practising it otherwise things are going to go wrong you also have to plan that when things do go wrong what are you going to do about it to get out of a bad situation."

Harding is based in the north west of England so the pair often train apart.

"It would be nice to train together but having those points where we do train separately and then having those points where we are training together keeps it quite fresh," Kelly insisted.

"Charlie’s got it a bit easier, he is a much better triathlete than me at the moment but I am working my way towards it.

"It helps that we are quite similar heights - you just have to train together to see if and how it works."

Para triathlon made its first Commonwealth Games appearance in 2018 and Kelly will be hoping to follow the example of his English compatriot Joe Townsend who won gold on the Gold Coast.

"Everyone’s drawn to it because it is something a bit out there - hopefully these Games will raise it a bit higher," Kelly suggested.

"We will enjoy the Commonwealth Games whilst they are here and hopefully get a medal if we can."