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Laurie turns her sights to the Paralympics
9:04am Tuesday 29th May 2012 in Sport
ALTRINCHAM wheelchair basketball star Laurie Williams may have endured a disappointing week at the BT Paralympic World Cup but the 20-year-old insists she will return stronger for the experience in London this summer.
Team GB went into the tournament as last year’s winners but struggled in the defence of their crown against an extremely strong field.
USA, the World and Paralympic champions, were in town as were European title holders Germany and Australia.
And they proved too strong for Team GB as they lost out to the Americans in the bronze-medal match after three defeats in group play.
But despite the set-back Williams refused to be too downhearted, insisting valuable lessons had been learned ahead of this summer’s Paralympics.
“We went out there to win because we wanted to be confident. I think we didn't quite play to our ability but we're not going to let it defeat us,” said Williams, who had her place at London 2012 confirmed at the conclusion of the World Cup.
“It's taught us things that we need to work on and we do have a vital few months before London which I think will really, really help.
“We just didn't quite get it right and we've got a few things to work on. But overall we did a good job.
“You can learn a lot. They do have similar players to our setup and their shooting is just a tiny bit better than ours at the moment, that's what we've got to work on.
“But defensively-wise it's taught us how to strengthen there, because obviously they scored more than we did.”
Defeats in all four of their games were tough to take for the British team who came in with such high hopes ahead of their home Paralympics.
But Williams is adamant that there is very little to choose between any of the top teams on their day.
“There's still time to turn it around before London. This is the closest that we've ever come to USA and I know they're afraid of us,” she added.
“We've beaten the Germans before so the game is so close, and we do have it in us, we can beat them, it's just a matter of doing those final tweaks.
“Once everything comes together then we'll be amazing!”
The BT Paralympic World Cup took place in Manchester from May 22 to 28 with elite international athletes competing in athletics, football 7-a-side and wheelchair basketball. Go to www.btparalympicworldcup.com for more information