GREAT Britain are facing the end of an era in wheelchair basketball after coming out on the losing end of another titanic tussle with the USA and missing out on a third consecutive Paralympic bronze medal, but the new dawn will be bright according to head coach Murray Treseder.
Great Britain lost out to Canada in their semi-final but they had high hopes of beating their cross-the-Pond rivals for bronze, just as they had done 85-77 in Beijing, but after a nervous start Great Britain slipped to a 61-46 defeat in the bronze medal match and had to settle for fourth.
Great Britain and the USA have plenty of history – as well as their Beijing showdown, Great Britain prevailed in the Athens 2004 quarter-final with Ade Adepitan famously holding his nerve from the free throw line at the death while at Sydney 2000, the Americans triumphed in the bronze medal match.
This defeat would seem to mark the end of an era for a number of Great Britain players – 11 of the 15 in London were also in Beijing while most are the wrong side of 30, including Pollock, Matt Byrne, Simon Munn, Dan HIghcock, Ian Sagar and Pete Finbow.
And while Treseder admits a number of other squad members have a fight on their hands to remain in contention for selection for Rio 2016, he pointed to youngsters Harry Brown and Lee Manning as the standard bearers.
“We think we have an outstanding junior and development programme in this country so the future is definitely bright for us,” said Treseder. About a third of the squad from one Games to the other will change so I think we will have people under pressure to stay in the team.
“The game is evolving and it’s hard to keep up when you’re in your mid-30s and it only gets harder.
n Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of ParalympicsGB and proud partner of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012