London 2012 star Chloe Wilcox aims to mark latter stages of career with gold medal after Commonwealth Water Polo Championships selection (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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London 2012 star Chloe Wilcox aims to mark latter stages of career with gold medal after Commonwealth Water Polo Championships selection
LONDON 2012 star Chloe Wilcox aims to mark the latter stages of her career with a gold medal after being selected to represent England at the Commonwealth Water Polo Championships.
The 27-year-old represented her country at the equivalent tournament in Perth back in 2006 before competing at the Olympic Games two years ago.
Five women’s teams will contest in the championships, to be held in Aberdeen, with England going head-to-head with Wales, Scotland, South Africa and Wales in a bid for gold.
While the opposition will not be as strong as that faced in London – where GB recorded a quarter-final finish –Wilcox is keen to stress the importance of the competition.
“It will be incredible as I believe we are more than capable of medalling,” she said. “It is really important as I’m coming to the end of my career and to finish it with a Commonwealth medal would be perfect.
“I still want to carry on playing afterwards but I’m looking at perhaps going to the Australian National League and having a domestic season there, so I won’t be able to compete in as many GB competitions.
“Our performance director was debating whether to send our full strength side but I begged him as I want to finish on a high.
“We don’t often win our games but to end with a medal is something very important to me. I want to have something next to my name when it’s all over.
“And while it is not a home tournament as such it will feel like it – all my friends and family will be there.”
Meanwhile, Wilcox admits the future of Great British water polo is looking bleak after UK Sport declined an appeal to restore its Olympic funding.
Earlier this year it was announced water polo – along with basketball, synchronised swimming and weightlifting – no longer fits the bill as a potential Olympic success story, with £4.5m funding stripped.
Weightlifting has won back its Olympic funding on appeal, although those of the other sports, including water polo, have fallen on deaf ears.
Having qualified for a second consecutive time, Great Britain are due to contest the European Championships this summer, although uncertainly continues to reign.
“It’s all a bit grim,” added Wilcox. “We have pretty much been told we won’t be getting UK Sport funding.
“The guys at the federation are still working hard to try and get us money to go to the Europeans this summer which is our main target having qualified.
“It is brilliant weightlifting have had their funding restored but it goes to show UK Sport are just supporting individual sports while team sports are being massively overlooked.
“It is literally at the point where we don’t know if we’re going to be able to send a team to the Europeans or not.
“It would be an embarrassment if Great Britain has to pull out of a major cup competition because funding is not there.”
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