Countdown to Rio: GB Hockey

11 August 2014 / 08:37

Home nations enjoyed their most successful Commonwealth Games ever in Glasgow. But who were the stars of the Games, whose targets have now been reset on the road to Rio - with the Olympics just two years away?

Barry Middleton believes Great Britain have never had a better chance to win their first men's Olympic hockey medal in 28 years in Rio.

Middleton is the most experienced member of the national set-up and captained England to hockey bronze in Glasgow, when they bounced back from a semi-final defeat to Australia to hold their nerve in a penalty shoot-out win over New Zealand.

And the bronze medal also ends a run of fourth-placed finishes at the last Commonwealth Games, the Olympic Games and the recent World Cup.

"Hopefully this takes us on," he said. "We're going to enjoy this for a few weeks but then we need to remember what got us there, we must go further. This is a very good group of players and since London we've improved at every tournament we've played. 

"These guys just want to get betterer every day. This will keep me playing for a long time because I believe in this group and I think we can go and win things."

Kate Richardson-Walsh, who captained Great Britain to hockey bronze at London 2012, is likely to call time on her international career before 2016.

But she also likes the shape of the team she will leave behind. After a disastrous World Cup, England very nearly claimed a shock gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

They were leading world silver medallists Australia with just 11 seconds to go but a late equaliser and penalty shoot-out loss meant they settled for silver.

"If you had told me at the last game of the World Cup, when we were in a play-off for 11th spot, that we would be in the final of the Commonwealths I would have ripped your arm off," said Richardson-Walsh.

"It just shows where this team can go in the future."

Other stars of Glasgow 2014 looking to travel on the road to Rio

Ross Murdoch (Swimming)

Claudia Fragapane (Gymnastics)

Matthew Hudson-Smith (Athletics)

Zoe Smith (Weightlifting)

Jazz Carlin (Swimming)

Antony Fowler (Boxing)

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