Words and interview: Simon Powers
Published: 19 August 2013
After her world-beating performances on the boards of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome only a little over a week ago, British Cycling Olympic Development Programme rider Danni Khan is already looking forward to the future and excited about forthcoming opportunities on the track and seeing selection for the 2016 Olympic Games as a dream goal.
“Definitely that’s a dream goal, I’d love to go to Rio but I’m trying not to think too far ahead,” Khan said. “Over the next few years there are plenty of competitions as well as many important aims and goals for me, stepping stones if you like to help me achieve my ultimate dream goal.”
Danni, who will celebrate her 18th birthday at the start of next month, showed her ever growing form on the track when she took two world titles and a silver medal emulating the performance of now double senior world champion Becky James who amassed the same medal tally in Moscow four years ago.
“To see what Becky did in Minsk earlier this year at the senior world championships when she won four medals and two senior world titles, especially after having won two junior world titles, gives me a lot of confidence especially in the British Cycling programme. It illustrates just what the training and coaches’ input can do”, enthused Khan.
The missing link in Glasgow was that she was unable to ride in the team sprint due to her being the sole Great Britain sprinter selected but it is certainly an event which she would like to compete in at future competitions.
“The team sprint is a great event and it was obviously a shame that I couldn’t do it at the worlds but I still had three events to go and do so I didn’t miss out too much. That said, in the future, I would love to go and compete in the team sprint and worlds and also the Commonwealth Games,” she said.
After two gruelling weeks of competition firstly at the junior worlds and then the junior nationals (where she convincingly won two national junior titles in both the individual sprint and the 500m time trial), the 17-year-old from Solihull is planning on taking a well-earned period of rest and recuperation at home before getting back into the saddle to challenge for yet more titles on the track, this time at senior level.
“After the junior nationals I am going to have a rest week, I will be completely off the bike so as to switch off and forget that I am a cyclist! I want to be refreshed so that I am ready to go again for the senior track nationals in September.”
After senior nationals, the UCI Track Cycling World Cup will start the 2013/14 season at the home of British Cycling in Manchester. With her ever growing palmarès, surely any possibility of selection for such a prestigious event, especially in front of a home crowd, would be an exciting finale to a formidable year for her.
“I haven’t really thought too much about world cups." Danni revealed
"It’s obviously very competitive in the GB team especially to ride world cups and world championships so I’ll just see how training goes up until the senior nationals and I’ll take it from there really.”