Wiggs and Paralympic volleyballers can start to dream of Rio 2016

Emma Wiggs at London 12  Picture by onEdition
Emma Wiggs at London 12 Picture by onEdition

Emma Wiggs saw her hopes of ending the London 2012 Paralympics on a high dashed by Japan – but she’s already turned her attentions to Rio 2016.

West Sussex-based Wiggs and her GB sitting volleyball team-mates were desperate to win on their final outing at the ExCeL, having lost their previous matches. But after an encouraging start against Japan, they lost in 25-23, 25-29, 25-13.

It ensured 32-year-old Wiggs and the first British women’s sitting volleyball team to compete at the Paralympics ended their campaign eighth.

But she is taking solace in the fact Japan were given a far harder test compared to when the two sides met in the group stages.

With GB having been playing together less than three years, former Regis School PE teacher Wiggs says the only way is up, claiming they will be medal contenders by the time Rio 2016 comes around.

“We were always going to be the underdogs. Most of us didn’t start playing volleyball until 2009 so it was always going to a tough competition,” said Wiggs.

“It’s about gaining experience in this kind of arena and we’ve had great backing to get to this stage.

“We’ve been looking ahead to Rio already because there’s a lot of planning that goes into it.

“It will be very tough to qualify but that’s why it was so important to come here.

“We’ve a lot of positives from this but we’ve a lot of hard work to do as well.”

GB went down 3-0 in each of their five matches against Japan (twice), Ukraine, the Netherlands and Brazil.

But Wiggs says that does not tell the whole story, citing improvements as the competition went on.

“It’s a massive building block. We take a lot of heart from how we’ve played and proud to have competed. Bring on Rio.”

* Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of ParalympicsGB and proud partner of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012