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Kaden Hopkins hails all-round strength of Bermuda ahead of Commonwealth Games

Flying the flag: Kaden Hopkins, right, is one four cyclists within the Bermuda team for the Commonwelath Games, with Conor White, left, Nicholas Narraway and Caitlin Conyers having also qualified

Kaden Hopkins has hailed the healthy state of Bermudian sport after being named among a 17-strong team for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, next month.

Hopkins, one of four cyclists alongside Caitlin Conyers, Conor White and Nicholas Narraway, joins the Bermuda team, headed up by Dame Flora Duffy, and including her fellow triathletes Tyler Butterfield, Erica Hawley and Tyler Smith, as well as track athletes Caitlyn Bobb, Tiara DeRosa, Sakari Famous, Dage Minors and Jah-Nhai Perinchief, swimmers Emma Harvey, Madelyn Moore and Jack Harvey, and squash player Emma Keane.

Within his own discipline, the 22-year-old is relishing the prospect of competing alongside three of his compatriots, having originally believed himself, White and Narraway were vying for just one slot within the team for the Games from July 28 to August 9.

“I’m just super excited,” he said. “Since being told about the possibility of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games two or three years ago, I’ve been looking forward to possibly getting that opportunity and to now know the four of us will all be going is amazing.

“It’s a massive accolade for us all, particularly as at first we believed that there might only be one male spot for cycling.

“Obviously, you hope to be selected, but to then find out we had three male places plus Caitlin as well is just amazing. It’s really exciting to think we will be able to have this experience together to represent Bermuda.

“We’re all really close and now it means we can lean on one another. We’ve experienced the World Championships and Pan American Games together and so we know how to push each other on.”

Pointing to the overall squad number increasing dramatically from the eight athletes who competed in Australia at the previous Commonwealth Games in 2018, Hopkins highlighted the strength of sport on island across all disciplines.

“It’s not just cycling, but Bermudian sport in general that is a strong position,” he added. “We have a really big team for such a small island, and that’s great to see.

“We’ve almost doubled the size of the team from four years ago and that shows the strength of sports in Bermuda, not just one, but as a whole across the board.”

Hopkins believes the nation is more than capable of once again punching above its weight on the world stage and highlighted the inspiration of defending Commonwealth and Olympic champion Duffy as motivation to the rest of the team.

“We’re at a point as a team where we feel we can be competitive and punch above our weight for sure,” he said. “Flora has been there and done it and so we can all learn from her experience.

“People like her and Tyler Butterfield just have that presence about them, so being in a team with them is just huge inspiration and motivation for everyone.

“No matter what sport you’re from, everyone is excited to represent the island and as a team we’re all hugely motivated to do well and make the nation proud.”

In preparation for the Games, Hopkins has returned to the island in an attempt to defend his title in the CG Insurance National Time-Trial Championships on Sunday.

Having edged out White in last year’s race, he is expecting another tough challenge with all of the overseas-based riders, including Narraway and Liam Flannery, returning. There will also be locally riders Dominique Mayho and Alexander Miller in contention.

“Everyone is coming back for the time-trial national championships, so it’s going to be really competitive,” he said. “I’m expecting some really exciting racing.

“No one is there just to make up the numbers, everyone is performing at a high level and so it makes the national races that bit more challenging because any one of us could win.”

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Published June 15, 2022 at 7:46 am (Updated June 22, 2022 at 11:46 pm)

Kaden Hopkins hails all-round strength of Bermuda ahead of Commonwealth Games

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