Bywater Seeking Revenge

WHEELCHAIR basketball player Terry Bywater insists a healthy dose of revenge is on the menu at next month’s BT Paralympic World Cup – admitting Great Britain have some unfinished business to attend to.

The 28-year-old, who has featured for GB at three Paralympic Games, securing two bronze medals in the process, will line up against France, Canada and Brazil at the showpiece event in Manchester.

Great Britain arrive as defending champions, but Bywater admits last year’s World Championships – and defeat to eventual silver medallists France in their first knock-out match is still difficult to stomach.

“There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t still think about that defeat,” he said.

“It was in Birmingham and when else are you going to get the chance to compete in a World Championships on your home soil?

“Some of the basketball we played in the group stages was the best we’ve played since I’ve been involved with Great Britain but it all went wrong on the day.

“And we’ll be after revenge in Manchester. It’s the perfect opportunity to put things right and test ourselves against some of the best teams in the world.

“So we’re taking a very strong team. Conceivably it could be the same squad of 12 that goes to the European Championships later in the year.”

Canada, the Paralympic silver medallists, will pose a significant threat, as will up-and-coming Brazil, but Bywater is adamant it’s the game against France that matters most.

To seal gold however, Great Britain must excel themselves but Bywater believes victory will be vital – as will grabbing gold at the European Championships this September in Israel.

“If you look around all the European nations, they’d probably always say that Great Britain are the favourites for the European Championships,” he added.

“But in reality, at the more recent ones, there have been five, six or even seven teams that could win in and Israel will be no different.

“This year it’s extremely important though with London 2012 coming up the next year and it is vital for us to arrive at the Paralympics as European champions.

“It won’t be easy, France will obviously be there and then there is Italy, who finished better than us at the worlds, as well as Germany but we’re confident we can bring it together.”

The BT Paralympic World Cup is taking place in Manchester from 23-28 May with elite international athletes competing in Swimming, Athletics and Wheelchair Basketball. Go to www.btparalympicworldcup.com for tickets and more information

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