Ex-Ipswich School pupils aiming for gold after qualifying for Rio Olympics
- Credit: Ady Kerry
Great Britain’s Olympic medal hopes could be decided by Ipswich stars George Pinner and Harry Martin.
The former Ipswich School pupils were part of the squad which confirmed their place at next year’s Games in Rio, with a 2-1 victory over Pakistan last week in the quarter-finals of the World League semi-finals.
Great Britain eventually bowed out at the last-four stage of the World League against world number one-ranked Australia, but Pinner believes the nation’s hockey fans should be positive.
“We came together as a squad after the Olympics and there were big changes and although we were fourth in the world, we didn’t really play like that,” added Pinner, who watched Martin claim his 50th international cap during the tournament.
“The last two years though have been phenomenal and we were annoyed and gutted to lose to Australia in the semi-final.
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“In the past that may have been deemed acceptable, but not any more, considering the games we have played in the last two years.
“It’s all about gaining those little percentages now, which are the hardest to get, but there is no reason why we can’t go to the Olympics and be challenging with the likes of Australia, Holland and Germany for a medal.”
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Pinner was second choice goalkeeper for Team GB at the 2012 Olympics, but is determined to go one step further next time round.
Pinner said: “As soon as it was decided that I would be second choice for Team GB at the 2012 Olympics, I had realised one of my ambitions.
“Literally, as soon as the Games started though, I began looking ahead four years and thinking I have got to be first choice goalkeeper for 2016.
“It would have been heartbreaking had we not made it to Rio.”