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Oswald will cross Atlantic in search of Commonwealth time

Ryan Oswald, the Scottish champion, plans to go to the United States in pursuit of sprint success after admitting that he has run out of domestic competition capable of pushing him towards further progress.

'There's been no-one in Scotland to really push me further,' says Ryan Oswald
'There's been no-one in Scotland to really push me further,' says Ryan Oswald

The 24-year-old, who was a silver medallist at last month's UK indoor championships, will this week cross the Atlantic in a bid to find the races he needs to chase the qualifying times for 100 and 200 metres at the Commonwealth Games. Already in the diary is the tough prospect of impressing in April's Florida Relays as the Pitreavie-based athlete searches for other opportunities to get on the track.

With the level of sprinting in Scotland at an all-time low, Oswald is convinced that staying at home would wreck any hope of reaching Glasgow 2014.

"Since Nick Smith left, there's been no real competition," he said. "He was more a 60 metres runner because of his phenomenal start. I'm more a 200m runner. But without him, there's been no-one in Scotland to really push me further.

"A lot of the sprinters here suffer because it's quite an amateur set-up. To be a good sprinter, you need to go down to England and train. Even in my training group at Pitreavie, the next fastest runner is a 23-seconds-dead guy. So I have to push myself."

Oswald is among a number of Scots destined to enter the US circuit over the coming weeks, with the opportun­ity of early season outings tempting those still chasing Commonwealth standards.

It will be uncharted territory for the Heriot-Watt graduate who has taken a year out to focus on his sprinting career. "I've done the European circuit but it will be different going over there, getting good weather and good competition," he said.

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