The golden Rio glow means the GB women’s hockey team have a target on their back in the upcoming Champions Trophy, according to one of their stars.
Although it’s two years since Team GB sealed that historic Olympic gold by beating the Netherlands in a dramatic penalty shootout, defender Giselle Ansley says the rest of the world’s top sides still see them as the team to beat.
They are set to face off against the likes of the Netherlands – in a rematch of that Olympic final – and Argentina at the Women’s Hockey Champions Trophy in China, starting on November 17.
Ansley said: “Absolutely everyone wants to beat us but that’s the way it is going to be as Olympic champions.
“You can’t go in thinking about it and you’ve just got to just focus on your own performance.”
Ansley, who plays her club hockey at Surbiton, is one of only six of the 19 gold-medallists from the last Olympic cycle in the squad for the tournament in Changzhou.
It means she is now one of the senior members of the squad, with more than 100 caps for England and Great Britain.
The squad is integrating four debutants, as they look to take home to Champions Trophy for the first time.
Sarah Jones, Amy Tennant, Erica Sanders and Tess Howard are the new names in the Great Britain shirts.
And Ansley said the fresh blood have been welcomed into the set-up.
“The beauty of our squad is that it’s very, very caring,” Ansley said.
“We care about each other and want everyone to be happy – so they can go forward and play with confidence.
“We are always there to listen when it’s needed and actually it’s the players with less experience helping the more experienced players as well.
“It’s a really good thing and has helped to keep the team feeling fresh. What we realised during the Olympics was what made us successful.”
WE'VE DONE IT!!!!!
You ladies are #HistoryMakers! #GOLD#BringOnTheGreat #Rio2016pic.twitter.com/JpOgogx7DA
— Team GB (@TeamGB) 19 August 2016
Great Britain’s best performance in the competition is finishing runners-up to Argentina in 2012.
The tournament will see GB take on Argentina, Australia, China, Japan and the Netherlands as the tournament brings together the reigning World Cup, World League, Olympic, Champions Trophy, Asian and Oceania champions.
“We want to go out there and improve on our previous results,” Ansley said.
“At the moment we are in a development phase. We want to build our game understanding and team work with each performance to get some rhythm into our game.”