JENNY Nesbitt has arrived in Australia with a spring in her step after overcoming adversity to secure her place at the Commonwealth Games.

The Worcester runner has undergone two knee operations in the past 18 months and it was “touch and go” whether she would make the cut for the major championships.

But the 23-year-old’s efforts to bounce back from the surgeries have been rewarded with a call-up to Wales’ athletics squad.

Nesbitt jetted off on Monday to begin her final preparations for the 10,000m before the event gets underway at the Gold Coast.

Her long-time coach Dave Walker said he was “extremely proud” of his charge who will compete at the Carrara Stadium on April 9.

“She is over the moon and so am I,” Walker said.

“What Jenny has been through makes it even better.

“She has only recently got over another knee operation in November.

“The advice she was given from the consultant was to have the operation now and make progress with the hope of qualifying.

“It was touch and go whether the recovery would be sufficient to allow her to be considered, but it was so it worked.

“For us this is another step in the direction she wants to take as her ultimate aim, like most athletes, is to compete at the Olympic Games.”

Walker began working with Nesbitt and nurturing her talent at Worcester Athletic Club 10 years ago. She is now studying sports performance at the University of Bath.

But the ex-Worcester RGS pupil has continued to work with the 73-year-old in a bid to get herself back in shape as she took part in the World University Games and European U23 Athletics Championships last year.

“What you get with Jenny is enthusiasm and ability to work hard,” Walker said.

“Nobody can look at somebody and say they are going to be an Olympic champion.

“She has progressed gradually through the age groups and has brought it through to the senior level which is the hardest thing to do.”

Nesbitt, who qualifies for Wales through her mother, only found out she had secured her place last week but is now hoping to perform on the big stage.

“I had an email from her mother saying ‘You must be a proud man’ and my reply was ‘I am extremely proud,” Walker said.

“But my real happiness is for Jenny.

“When I spoke to her before she flew on Monday she said she still can’t believe it.

“But she better believe it as she has got to perform now.

“I think she will do well out there.

“We want her to perform to the best of her abilities and hopefully she will come back from Australia with a personal best.

“There will be people who are a lot older and more experienced than her and for distance running that’s what you need.

“She is still on that learning curve.”

Nesbitt added: “I am just so happy to be given the opportunity to represent Wales on the Gold Coast.

“I’m really hoping that I can produce my best performance and use the Games as a springboard to progress even more.”