Thompson eyes final as European Championships await

Thompson eyes final as European Championships await
By Sportsbeat

30/06/2019 at 16:18Updated

Maddie Thompson is bored of bronze – she has four of the medals in her collection but is desperate for a different colour at the Wheelchair Basketball European Championships.

The 24-year-old was part of the GB team who took a historic silver at last summer's worlds in Germany, but thus far a European final has eluded them.

But as they prepare to get their 2019 campaign underway in the Netherlands – who, remarkably, have faced Germany for gold in the last 14 editions of the competition – Thompson believes that the squad have what it takes to break the duopoly.

"We're sick of getting bronze, we've got it six times in a row now. We want to reach a final now and see where we go," she said.

"The Netherlands have an amazing coach and their game is really good.

"But we can compete with that now and with an extra year of the centralised programme in Sheffield, we've developed so much and I'm excited for a rematch with them in the final.

"We've just come back from Croatia and warm-weather training and it was there we decided we're going for European champions now."

While medals in the Netherlands are certainly the short-term target, GB cross the channel knowing that a top-four finish would qualify them for next summer's Tokyo Paralympics, where they will look to build on their fourth-place finish in Rio.

And as the squad's chief cheerleader, the 24-year-old is willing to do all that she can to help the team to achieve just that.

"I'm not someone who would start the game, but I aim to come in and bring a lot of energy," she continued.

"I'm known for my loud voice and crazy cheering on the court, so I just want to be energetic, support my team and when it's my time to contribute, that's my moment.

"Personally, I just want to be really proud of my performance.

"I want to put a medal on my son Zachary, who is two, and show him that's what his mum achieved.

"My goal is to make him proud and help my team be the best."

Sportsbeat 2019