Paralympic Games: Mike Kerr bemused as GB wheelchair rugby team crash out
MIKE KERR cut a forlorn figure as Great Britain’s wheelchair rugby team failed to reach the semi-finals at London 2012, claiming Great Britain were the architects of their own downfall as their medal hopes went up in smoke.
Kerr and co needed a win to advance to the semi-finals and keep their hopes of a medal alive, but the host nation slipped to a 51-39 defeat to Japan at the Olympic Park yesterday.
Great Britain opened with a defeat to the USA but victory over France on Thursday reignited hopes of a place in the last four later today, but instead they will have to win their next two matches if they’re to finish fifth and match their world ranking.
Yesterday, Great Britain began brightly enough and led 14-13 after the first quarter but Japan, ranked fourth in the world, showed their class in the next quarter, taking it 13-4 to move into an unassailable lead, leaving Kerr crestfallen. “We had the momentum in the first quarter and we should have scored the last goal in the first quarter and that would have given us a two-goal lead and with the ball at the start of the second,” said Kerr.
“For me that was the turning point and because of that we weren’t up to it in the second quarter but we’ll have to watch it back on the video and see where we went wrong. We know that Japan aren’t any better than us, they’re a team that we’ve studied over and over again but it’s about the team that performs on the day and we underachieved, it’s as simple as that.”
They call wheelchair rugby ‘Murder Ball’ and it’s easy to see why as players charge around the court – and into each other – showing little regard for their well-being. It’s one of the sports that has most captured the public’s imagination in the build-up to and during london 2012, and Kerr believes Great Britain owe their supporters two more victories.
“We’ve got to try and do the home support proud,” he said.
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