Brits target wheelchair rugby medal
Andy Barrow (centre)
GB Wheelchair Rugby chief executive David Pond has targeted a medal at London 2012 after the announcement of an 11-strong Paralympics squad.
Britain have finished fourth at the past two Paralympic Games in a discipline which was originally known as 'murderball' because of its aggressive, full-contact nature.
Of the latest squad, Andy Barrow, Ross Morrison and Jonny Coggan competed in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, while Mandip Sehmi and Bulbul Hussain were also involved four years ago.
GB Wheelchair Rugby has recruited and developed new talent to add to the group, with half-a-dozen athletes set to make their Paralympic debut in London - including captain Steve Brown and Kylie Grimes, who becomes only the second female athlete to be selected to the ParalympicsGB wheelchair rugby team.
Following a training regime which included sending five players on a gruelling 10-week training camp in the United States, Pond believes everything has been done to give the squad the best possible chance of success this summer.
"We are definitely looking for a medal out of this Paralympic Games," Pond said. "The team has finished agonisingly close at the last two Games, despite securing strong results including three successive European golds in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
"So after Beijing we took some of our best young and promising talent out to the 2009 European Championships where we finished fourth and the 2010 World Championships where we finished fifth.
"We also put five of the most promising athletes through an intensive training camp where they competed against some of the best American players, which we knew would make our players tougher, faster and fitter."
Pond added: "These players prove more exciting each day and they now have the experience they need to compete at the highest level at the Paralympic Games.
"We demonstrated this at the 2011 European Championships where we won silver. We are now in a position where we are confident that the team we have nominated to the BPA (British Paralympic Association) is one that can win a medal this time around."
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