Triathlete who battled physical and mental health back in the water after almost two decades

  • Video report from ITV Meridian sports report Andrew Pate

A former commonwealth games athlete from Hampshire says he hopes to compete again after battling with his mental health.

Dave Savage competed in the triathlon at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, but afterwards suffered with depression.

At his lowest point, he tried to take his own life.

But 18 years on from the beginning of his challenges with mental health, he wants to race again - and he hopes his story will inspire others.

The 2002 Commonwealth Games was the pinnacle of his career, but his triathlon ended in disaster.

During the cycling phase of the race, his bike suffered two punctures and he came last.

Dave says he'd put "his heart and soul into the training" and the result was a "bitter pill to swallow."

"The disappointment didn't really sink in until I came home and I didn't have a job to go to.

"I put all my eggs in one basket and I slipped into quite a severe depression."

Dave says he attempted to this own life because he "could not really see a away out of it."

"I feel guilty for to this day for what my friends and family went through but I am out the other side of it now thankfully."

Dave has also had to undergo 11 different surgeries over the last six years.

But now working as a sports coach, he hopes to compete in an olympic triathlon next year - having started training for what will be his first race in almost two decades.

"It's great to be back in the water but at the same time it's also reminding myself how unfit I am!

"I'm under no illusions I've got a long way to go and there's 18 years of rust to scrape off."

The olympic triathlon requires athletes to compete over a mile swim, followed by a 25 mile bike ride, finishing on a six mile run.

"It's not that I haven't wanted to train, it was just to much risk involved.

"I'm on the other side of the mental health issues that I I've never felt better physically even on two weeks of training."

Dave hopes that his journey, which he'll document in his video blog, will inspire others, with his return to the start line demonstrating just how far he's come.

"It's where I started, the mental and physical setbacks came along the way.

"It's almost taking a full 360 back to where I first started, so it's almost like I've re-found myself."