Trinidad and Tobago’s Roger Daniel said winning the 10-metre Air Pistol Competition at the Central American and Caribbean qualifiers in El Salvador earlier this week, has boosted his confidence as he continues preparations for the CAC Games and more immediately, the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast next April.
Daniel, a silver and bronze medalist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, told SportsMax.tv he hardly had time to prepare for the qualifiers and went in with little expectation.
“I didn’t come here with any expectation,” he told SportsMax.tv from El Salvador after his victory.
“I just said I was going to do my best and hopefully I would have come away with the gold and it materialised. I didn’t put any pressure on myself, didn’t know what to expect because I hardly had time to train. I came with what I know and came out on top.”
The former army man, who won a silver medal at the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico, said winning the gold medal brought a special feeling.
"The gold medal means a lot to me because it’s been years since I have won the 10m event at the CAC games or qualifiers for that matter, so it means a lot to be the only person from an English-speaking country to win this gold medal because usually, the Cubans dominate, the Mexicans dominate, the Guatemalans, the Colombians; it’s always a Hispanic kind of thing. So coming here and getting in there and spoiling the [dominance], it feels great.
"This really means a lot to me. Going into the CAC Games it gives me a lot of confidence, that edge. You know once you are the champion everyone watches you a certain way, so it kind of gives you a mental edge for the next competition.”
With the Commonwealth Games coming up in next April and the CAC Games set for next summer, Daniel said the real work begins in preparation for these events.
“I hope the people of the Caribbean and Trinidad and Tobago celebrate it, but the journey has just begun,” he said.
“We have like seven to eight months and the Commonwealth Games, so winning this medal has given me the confidence to believe I can do it.”