Team GB ‘good warm up act’ says teenage Paralympian

A TEENAGE paralympian has praised Team GB’s “amazing” performance jokingly describing them as a “good warm up act”.

Partially sighted Georgina Bullen, of Shepreth High Street, is set to compete in the women’s goalball team and told the Crow she has been inspired by the 29 gold medals won at the London 2012 Olympics.

“I thought it was amazing to see Team GB make such an improvement on Beijing which was a real show stopper – they managed to get 19 golds and to build on that is impressive,” the 18-year-old said.

“It shows that although we are a small country we have so much talent and we now know how to nurture and grow it. I’m just delighted it showed what Team GB are made of.

“It was so exciting to watch, me and my team-mates were at training waiting for our dinner but rushing to the TV to watch Mo Farah. We felt so inspired by it all. Jessica Ennis and all of Team GB showed so much heart and made me proud to be British.”

Bullen is one of five athletes who will comprise the women’s goalball team, which will play in the Copper Box on the Olympic Park, in a sport which returns to the Paralympics after a 12-year absence.

The team are reaching the end of their intense training period and will soon head to Bath for a holding camp before the Games start on August 29.

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Despite the imminent starting date and expectations, Bullen said she was not feeling the pressure but thought the team would be inspired by the nation’s success at the Olympics.

She said: “It has jokingly been described by some of us as a good warm-up act. I don’t think it will be negative pressure, I think people will be more excited to see how well the Team GB Paralympic team do.”

Goalball sees teams of three throwing a 1.25kg bell-filled ball towards the opponents’ goal with defenders hurling themselves full-length to block the shots and then return the ball.

It was originally devised as a rehabilitation for visually impaired WWII veterans but has developed into an action-packed sport relying on agility and instinct as all players wear black-out shades.

Team GB have been drawn with favourites China, Finland, Brazil and Denmark but the Hills Road School student, who is still studying for her A-levels, thinks they can go all the way.

“All of us would love to win gold, the team target is to finish fourth overall, but none of us would go out thinking we don’t want a medal,” she said.