Join Team GB

Clayton takes positives from London

August 9, 2012 17:11 pm

The Great Britain women's water polo team have Rio 2016 in their sights after their Olympic experience in London came to an end.

Six defeats from six games sealed their fate, and they came bottom of eight teams in the tournament.

Francesca Clayton, who scored her first two goals of this Olympic campaign in the team's loss to Italy, said: "Rio is a realistic target. We showed that we are getting close to these European teams, and these are the ones that qualified.

"Anything's possible in water polo, so another four years, why not get a sun tan in Rio? It sounds fun."

Asked if the team had done worse than they had hoped, she said: "I think if I had been asked a year ago, and someone said 'These will be your scores', we would have been like, 'Yeah great, brilliant'.

"But we expect so much of ourselves now, especially after coming seventh in the Europeans and beating Germany, we were hoping we could step up to beat Spain, step up to beat Russia and Italy.

"We are getting close, and maybe in another year it will be GB in the top four, and that'll be the way we're going."

Captain Fran Leighton said although the results look bad on paper, the experience is a positive one for the future of the team.

"I'm disappointed because I'm an athlete and a sportswoman who likes to win and hates losing," she said. "Also, it feels like if someone asks how you got along and you say eighth, then people may not understand how hard we fought, and how well we actually did in some of the games.

"So unfortunately, the hard facts are we did lose all of our games here, but I think we've put forward a massive case for how far we've come, since London won the Olympics, how much we've changed. And I think it's really promising for Rio that after this, this will be a real support for water polo going forward."

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