DEWSBURY wheelchair basketballer Peter Finbow is the first to admit that Great Britain’s revenge mission didn’t go to plan at the BT Paralympic World Cup – but he’s still convinced it will be accomplished come September’s European Championships.
The 35-year-old underwent two shoulder operations in 2009 and as a result missed the 2010 season, including the World Championships in Birmingham where Britain suffered a disappointing quarter-final defeat to France.
At the Paralympic World Cup therefore, Finbow and co were intent on revenge but after an opening match defeat to the French and a narrow defeat to Paralympic silver medalists Canada, Britain missed out on the final and a chance to defend their title.
The fact the hosts went on to defeat Brazil for the second time in a week to claim bronze came as little consolation for Finbow – but he remains confident revenge will be Britain’s at the Europeans in Israel.
“I think that our preparation was great and we can’t forget that this is our first tournament of the season,” said Finbow. “We’ll have a few more matches prior to the European Championships and I’m sure we’ll be a lot better prepared by the time we get there.
“A gold medal at the European Championships has been a long time coming and I’ve played in quite a few of them and have not won it so it’s overdue. Hopefully we’ll go the Europeans and beat France, our revenge against them can wait until the European Championships.”
Britain were dealt a major blow on the eve of the World Cup, held in Manchester, when captain Jon Pollock was ruled out through injury.
And while Finbow is refusing to use that as an excuse, he believes his side will be unrecognisable for the better at the European Championships.
“I think we’ve all come along as individuals and I think that showed against Brazil,” he added. “We were under par against France and we’re not too sure why that was but we’ve forgotten about that now and moved on.
“Yes we’re missing Jon Pollock but others have been coming forward and it’s encouraging. I think we’ve been working on our fitness and our speed and that can make a big difference. It only makes little improvements out on the court but they can be all important.”
The BT Paralympic World Cup took place in Manchester from 23-28 May with elite international athletes competing in Swimming, Athletics and Wheelchair Basketball. Go to www.btparalympicworldcup.com for more information