McCann targets GB Paralympics selection

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Doncaster wheelchair fencer Craig McCann may not have found his best form at the European Championships in July, but the 27-year-old insists he will be firing on all cylinders when it really counts at London 2012.

McCann could only manage finishes of 23rd and 32nd in the foil and epee disciplines respectively at the Europeans, a performance that, by his own admission, did not live up to his own expectations.

But the former McAuley Catholic High School pupil has only been competing in the sport for 18 months and the Europeans in Sheffield were his first major international competition.

“Overall my results in Sheffield were not what I was hoping for, though I did manage to beat the world No.5 in the foil in one of my pool rounds,” he said.

“Hopefully that shows what I’m able to do when I can find the consistency that my performances are lacking. I have had some problems with injuries as well so I hadn’t put together a great training block and I think that affected me.

“But it was a great learning experience for to go through before London 2012. Every time I fence I am learning, not just about the technical side of things, but also the tactical and mental aspect of being an athlete.”

McCann will compete in the World Championships in October which he knows will present a great opportunity for him to nail down a spot in the GB squad for London.

“My aim is to improve on my European results and hopefully make it through to the direct elimination round,” he said.

“I lost a couple of close fights in Sheffield that ended up costing me so if I can turn them round then I should hopefully perform well.

“It should set me up well for London 2012 and I can’t wait to get there and go through the whole experience. We need to be at our best for when it comes around, be that either through automatic qualification or selection.“

London is going to be incredible, every athlete says it but it’s not only the biggest stage in the world but it’s also in our home, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

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