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Canterbury runner Matthew Stonier of Invicta East Kent AC selected by Team England to compete at Commonwealth Games in Birmingham


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Matthew Stonier admits his Team England call-up ahead of a home Commonwealth Games came as something as a surprise even to him.

Stonier, of Invicta East Kent AC, has been selected in the host nation's 72-strong athletics squad ahead of the Games in Birmingham which will take place from July 28 until August 8.

Matthew Stonier running at the Kent Schools’ Cross-Country Championships in 2020. Picture: Alan Langley
Matthew Stonier running at the Kent Schools’ Cross-Country Championships in 2020. Picture: Alan Langley

"It was kind of unexpected news but exciting at the same time," said the 20-year-old 1,500m runner who is originally from Sturry, near Canterbury, before moving to Loughborough University where he studies.

"I got a call from one of the lead coaches who is someone I know at Loughborough. It made it quite nice for me to hear it from someone I know.

"He informed me of the good news and how they got to that decision.

"They have made their decision and, thankfully for me from my perspective, it was the right one."

He is named in the squad alongside Dartford's Adam Gemili, fellow sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, of Blackheath & Bromley, Sevenoaks-born race walker Tom Bosworth and Tonbridge AC's Harry Kendall.

"It’s a home Games in Birmingham. I ran on the track in May and the track was just incredible," added Stonier who has recently completed his second year at Loughborough where he's studying both sports science and geography.

Invicta East Kent Athletics Club's Matthew Stonier, left, competed in Spain alongside club-mate Alexandra Millard earlier this year
Invicta East Kent Athletics Club's Matthew Stonier, left, competed in Spain alongside club-mate Alexandra Millard earlier this year

"I think it can hold around 40,000, I would like to imagine it will be somewhere near full.

"I’m used to having 10 to 20 cheers for me so having thousands could be out of this world!"

It completes a rapid rise for the former King's School student - whose dad Rob works at The Junior King's School - who will compete at the Müller UK Athletics Championships at the Manchester Regional Arena from Friday until Sunday.

He enjoyed success at the BUCS Outdoor Athletics Championship in Chelmsford, Essex, and ran a personal-best time of 3min35.92sec to finish third in the Irena Szewińska Memorial in Poland earlier this month.

Stonier still works with Invicta East Kent coach Peter Mullervy but is now also coached by Loughborough coaches Chris and Sonia McGeorge.

Read more from Matthew Stonier on his Commonwealth Games call-up on KentOnline later this week

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