Powerlifter Jawad can’t wait to compete on home soil at 2022 Commonwealth Games

Ali Jawad of England celebrates a lift in the men's lightweight final during the Para Powerlifting o

Ali Jawad of England celebrates a lift in the men's lightweight final during the Para Powerlifting on day six of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (pic Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) - Credit: Getty Images

North London’s Ali Jawad is excited by the prospect of another home multi-sport games.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be the first on English soil since Manchester 2002.

And speaking on the day of the two-year countdown, Jawad said: “I can only compare a home games to (London) 2012. If it’s anything near like that scale we are in for the best Commonwealth Games ever.

“I’m sure the public will come out and pack the venues and support the team, which is something I can’t wait for. The people closest to me will get to watch me again in international competition and that is obviously quite rare and gets me really excited.”

Jawad was born without legs and also suffers from Crohn’s disease since being diagnosed with it in 2009. This has meant the Lebanon-born lifter has had to train in isolation over the past two years and not just since Covid-19 restrictions came in.

“It’s not been a new situation for me at all, so it may actually put me in an advantage as I will be in better shape than a lot of people coming out of it going into the Paralympic Games next year and 2022 as well,” he added.

“That hard work and protocols that I’ve implemented the last two years have put me in good stead.

Most Read

“My best performances have actually been at the Commonwealth Games. All my comebacks from Crohn’s disease has been driven by the Commonwealth Games. Growing up it was all about the Paralympic Games but actually if you dissect my career the Commonwealth Games is where I’ve been able to bounce back and achieve these incredible memories.”

The powerlifter will be competing at his fourth Commonwealth Games at Birmingham 2022 and also sits on the Commonwealth Games England board as an athlete representative.

He added: “What makes the Commonwealth Games special for me is that you are with a lot of the Olympic sports too. Obviously in the Paralympics we are with all the para-sports but in Commonwealth Games it is para-sport and Olympic sports in one place at the same time, which is very special and unique.

“It feels like a family team, where everyone supports each other and really happy and making sure our performance levels match that, which is why the last two Commonwealth Games we have performed really well.”

The 2022 Games will play host to the biggest sporting programme the Commonwealth Games has ever seen with three new sports added to the programme and, for the first time, will include more medal events for women than men.

The Games themselves have also been moved back 24 hours from their original date to July 28 and will not only create a bumper summer of sport but also accommodate athletes within the busy sport schedule that has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

*To follow the fortunes of Team England athletes in the lead-up to Birmingham 2022 visit the Team England website www.teamengland.org.