Olympic hopefuls won't ease up

24 March 2012 / 15:16

With only 125 days to go until the London Olympics, Great Britain women's handball captain Lynn McCafferty has joked about walking around in bubblewrap to prevent injury.

But there will be no letting up on Sunday when she leads her team out in their Euro 2012 Group Three qualifier against Poland in Elblag with their hopes of reaching the tournament in Holland hanging by a thread.

They lost 33-20 against Poland at Loughborough University on Thursday in the reverse fixture, which came on the back of defeats to European powerhouses Montenegro and Russia last October, meaning they sit bottom of the table halfway through the qualification phase.

With the chances of progression remote, it would be easy for Jesper Holmris' side to take their foot off the pedal with the summer's showpiece in mind but playmaker McCafferty insists no such thoughts have ever crossed her side's mind.

"We are still going 100% flat out," she said. "We are still working really hard and we are not easing up on any of our tackling in training or tackling in games, we are actually trying to give a little bit more.

"It is at the back of your head a little bit, but it is always like that with handball because it is such a physical game.

"The Olympics is very important but the journey up to them is just as important. Last week we trained with Harlequins rugby club and none of us held back.

"None of our team think 'we'll hang back so we don't get injured' because we're not guaranteed to get picked anyway so you have to give everything you've got and if you don't that will be what doesn't get you selected. You have to give 100% no matter what."

Indiscipline cost GB on Thursday and coach Holmris knows his side cannot afford to be a player down against the top-class nations.

The Dane said: "When you have too many two-minute suspensions and when we are playing six against five we really struggled."

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