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Callum Hemming may only be stepping into the Commonwealth Games arena for the first time this week but won’t fear anyone in his quest for a medal.

As well as currently playing his part in England’s quest for a mixed team medal, Hemming will look to make progress in the mixed doubles draw with Jessica Pugh where they are seeded sixth.

The 23-year-old believes they have the ability to challenge for a podium spot.

“We know our level is there,” Hemming said. “We know if we play our top level we can really compete with some of the best in the world.

“This year has felt different because from quite early on we knew we would probably be competing in this, so everything has been about getting us ready for the Commonwealths.

“It feels like it has been quite a long wait, but hopefully we will peak at the right time.”

Although this is his first time in the Team England jersey, no-one needs to explain the importance of wearing the white and red to Hemming.

As a shuttler who is proud to represent his country, the Milton Keynes player already knows a home Games will go down as one of the biggest moments of his fledgling career.

Hemming wants him and Pugh to use the energy of the crowd in the NEC to their advantage.

“To represent England in anything is a huge, huge honour,” he said. “So that automatically puts this (the Games) right up there in terms of what I’ve achieved so far.

“I’m quite patriotic and support England in all sports when they are playing.

“To be part of that culture is just amazing. It makes me very proud.

“As a country, we know how to get behind athletes. I went to badminton and swimming as a fan in the 2012 Olympics and the atmosphere was incredible, just amazing.

“We’ve got some of the best sporting crowds in the world, so I’m hoping we bring that energy to Birmingham.

“If we use that feeling from the crowd, it will give us a real lift in the latter stages.”

Before the mixed doubles, where England teammates Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith also feature, comes the small task of the mixed team competition, with England making the perfect start on Friday.

Hemming has previous in similar events, helping England win bronze at the European Junior Championships back in 2017.

And he is relishing the opportunity to help the host nation’s charge.

“I really love team events, they don’t happen often in our sport,” he added.

“It’s a great feeling with everyone supporting each other and getting fired up. I’m just buzzing to be part of it and hopefully we can do something special.

“I do have experience of some of the big events and I know how to prepare myself to be in the best shape possible.

“Obviously this is a multi-sport event so it will be slightly different and I do want to take in everything and make sure I enjoy every moment of the experience.”

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