DONCASTER-born Jon Hall has revealed only gold will do at the BT Paralympic World Cup in May – but the wheelchair basketball ace admits August is the only month marked on his calendar.
Hall and co will arrive in Manchester buoyed by becoming the first Great Britain side to claim the European title in 16 years last autumn – downing Germany in the final. That means that Hall, 30, will arrive at the London 2012 Paralympics as the kings of the continent as they bid to improve on the bronze medal they won at Beijing 2008.
First though, GB will turn their attentions to improving the Paralympic World Cup bronze last year, with Hall relishing the chance to get to know the likes of the USA, Germany and Japan inside out.
“Training is going well and the team is in a good position” said Hall, who now lives in Clowne, Derbyshire.
“For the World Cup they’ll all be tough teams – Japan, Germany are good as well and then Canada or America are always going to be tough. We actually play the same three teams in a tournament the week previous to the Paralympic World Cup as well in Frankfurt. It’s something we’ve never done before but obviously the more playing time we can get in at the moment is going be brilliant before the run up to London. Knowing how they play and if we need to change anything and get our all our combinations working – it’s all geared towards London now.”
With the likes of Australia – the world and Paralympic champions – entering the fray at London 2012, upgrading Paralympic bronze to gold is going to be no mean feat. But Hall believes nothing is being left to chance in Great Britain’s preparations.
“Everything now is focused on London,” added Hall. “Everything we do now, and for the past year really has been geared towards London.
“I think about it every day – it’s part of everything we do, what we eat, the way we train, our rest time – everything’s just geared towards being the best prepared for London.
“The team’s being picked at the end of May, so the team’s not even picked yet. Our training programmes are that tailored at the moment so that you’re not peaking now, obviously the aim is for everyone to peaking on August 19.”
The BT Paralympic World Cup is in Manchester (May 22-26) with athletes competing in Athletics, Football 7-aside and Wheelchair Basketball. Go to www.btparalympicworldcup.com