RHYTHMIC gymnast Laura Halford hopes her 2018 Commonwealth Games dream will become a reality later this week having already got a taste of what to expect Down Under.

Cricklade’s Halford won three medals in Glasgow four years ago and is expected to be named in the Wales team to travel to the Gold Coast in April when it is announced on Friday.

Another Swindon-based gymnast, Stephani Sherlock, was included in the England team to compete in Australia earlier this month so Halford is eager to join her.

British gymnasts have already had the chance to see where they will be competing at the Games, which get under way on April 4, at a training camp and that has just fuelled Halford’s desire to return.

“I’m really excited and it will be a completely different experience to the last Games in Glasgow,” said Halford, who turns 22 on Sunday.

“We have actually already had the chance to go out to Australia for a training camp and we got to see the venue where we will compete and the athletes’ village. That was really excellent preparation for us.

“It helps settle the nerves and I can start to visualise my routines now. I use imagery quite a lot to prepare for competitions and now I can picture myself doing them in that arena, so it is quite helpful.”

Halford helped Wales win a team silver medal as an 18-year-old in Glasgow four years ago and also took individual bronze in both the all-around and ball categories.

Although it would be a major surprise if Halford, who was crowned British champion for the fourth time last year, was not named in the Welsh team for the Games when it is confirmed at the end of the week, the former Esprit club member is refusing to get ahead of herself.

“We’re still waiting for our selection and we find out the team soon, so we are still all working really hard,” said Halford.

“I am quite confident that I will have made the team but I can’t rely on anything, I need to make sure I keep working hard every day in the gym.

“I can’t lose focus or get complacent, I just have to keep knuckling down. for that but I am already really excited for what the Games could be.”