Claudia Fragapane knows exactly how a Commonwealth Games can transform a career overnight.  

Aged just 16, the Bristol-born tumbler became England’s most successful gymnast in nearly a century as she took home four gold medals from Glasgow in 2014.  

Overnight, Fragapane became a national treasure, a teenager thrust into the limelight and the new great hope of English and British gymnastics.  

It was a steep learning curve for the youngster, who picked up the 2014 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award, and she now admits she struggled to initially deal with the hype.  

“I think the pressure and expectation at such a young age can have a damaging effect,” she said.  

“I think that was why I was so comfortable going out in 2014 because no one was really expecting me to do anything.   

“My coaches kept me very grounded. They just said to focus on the team, what you want to deliver and make sure that you just concentrate on doing the best you can and then see what happens.  

“I just remember getting there with the team and feeling really, really overwhelmed. I wasn’t expecting to get anything out of it, just probably a team medal.   

“I just wanted to go out there and do my best and I came away with four gold medals, so I was pretty shocked.   

“I had a massive shock after 2014 because the media was crazy. I didn’t really have much media training, so my interviews were a little bit weird.   

“I couldn’t really speak properly in front of a camera, but I just had to learn all of that.   

“It was a lot of pressure, but I just had to try and deal with it and make sure I focus on what I’m doing in the moment.”  

The ensuing years have not been easy for the now 24-year-old.   

Heartbreak came in 2016 when she narrowly missed out on the individual all-around final at the Rio Olympics after falling on the uneven bars and balance beam. 

More tough times followed, with an Achilles' injury leaving her unable to defend her four Commonwealth golds at the Gold Coast, and concussion causing her to miss the Tokyo Olympics. 

Fragapane is now fit and raring to go ahead of a home Games, despite a foot injury in October, and is now looking to simply enjoy her time in Birmingham.  

“It doesn’t get any easier to deal with injury setbacks,” she added. “I feel like each setback is difficult because you have to start again.  

“They’re just trying to bubble wrap me at the moment just because I am getting older and it gets more and more difficult.   

“I also need to remember that I achieved what I’ve achieved in the past.   

“Whatever happens now is just a bonus. I just want to enjoy myself and take everything as it comes.  

“Obviously I would love to get a team medal and then any kind of apparatus I’m trying to go for. I might be doing beam and floor or just floor.   

“I just want to try and do the best I can, and maybe hit the podium, but I just want to enjoy myself at these Commonwealths.”  

Whatever the outcome in the second city this summer, it will be built on years of hard work in the gym.  

Fragapane’s journey started out aged six at Bristol Hawks, before quickly turning into a more serious endeavour.   

However, the four-time Commonwealth gold medallist is still driven by simply doing her best.  

“I just wanted to flip around and scare myself a little, but I didn’t realise it actually takes hard work to get to where you are,” she reflected.  

“My coaches just wanted me to enjoy myself. That’s the one thing that Bristol Hawks teaches at their club is to always enjoy yourself and do the best you can.  

“Don’t focus on anybody else who’s achieved more. Whatever you’ve done in your journey, if that’s the best that you can do then that’s good enough.”  

With Fragapane having taken a longer and tougher road to Birmingham than most, it is a message that will undoubtedly remain at the forefront of her mind on the mat this summer.