Campbell bidding for bright start
PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 March 2015
Para table tennis ace ready for new season
Paralympic table tennis medalist Jane Campbell is looking to start the season on a winning note at the Butterfly Michael Hawkesworth Championships in Bristol.
Newham-based Campbell will then head out to Italy for the first factor 40 tournament of the international season, the Lignano Master Open, and with next year’s Paralympic Games firmly on the horizon this is an important year for the London athlete and the rest of the GB team as the qualification period for Rio finishes at the end of 2015.
“Having enjoyed London so much I feel really excited that we are in the qualification year for Rio and that it is now just round the corner,” said Campbell.
“Having qualified for London I feel less pressure on the qualification for Rio and more able to just enjoy it.
“It does bring back all the memories of London 2012 - the build-up, the thrill of staying in the village for the first time and competing in front of huge crowds. The joy of it all is what motivates me to want to do it all over again in Rio. I think it’s addictive!”
Campbell has been training hard through the winter and will be hoping to put a disappointing performance at last year’s World Championships behind her.
“Training has been going well,” she added. “I’ve been able to train a little more than usual, so hope to see some improvements.
“I’ve been working on something new and the challenge now is to see whether I can actually bring it into my game at competitions. Learning it has kept me really motivated and I’m really looking forward to the competitions coming up.”
The competition in Bristol is also the BTTAD National Championships and Campbell may find herself facing team partner and great friend Sara Head, with whom she won a memorable bronze medal in the women’s class 1-3 team event in London.
“It’s always difficult to play against Sara, but we’ve got the doubles to look forward to, which is always great fun,” said Campbell.
“My main goal for this year, apart from qualification for Rio, is to compete really strongly in the European Championships and to show that Sara and I are still one of the best teams.”