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Olympic Water Polo star Hazel Musgrove prepares for London 2012
WARRINGTON’S Olympic Water polo player Hazel Musgrove is hopeful that an intense week of warm-up competition in Hungary will help GB reach their ambitious performance targets in London later this month.
The 23-year-old former Bridgewater High School pupil will make history as a member of the first women’s water polo team to represent GB at an Olympics, but that has not stopped the coaches aiming for a top five finish once their fixtures start at the Olympic Park’s Water polo arena on July 30.
The Appleton resident and former Warrington Water Polo club member admitted that she must endure a tough training schedule leading up to Team GB’s debut if they are to match the ambitions set by their coaches.
Ahead of setting of to the Hungary holding camp this week, she said: “We’ll have some good strong matches against some good teams, Hungary and China will be there and that will be good preparation for us.
“Our training will be pretty full on, as we get up in the morning and go straight to the gym.
“We’ll then do an hour’s stretching, come home and eat breakfast and some lunch, before heading back to training and doing a few hours in the pool.
“Then it’s back home for some tea and then off to bed, so it is pretty full on!”
Team GB’s move to make their water polo players full-time professionals means that Musgrove and her fellow teammates are in the privileged position of being able to dedicate much more time to training than players in the past, something that inevitably increases expectations ahead of the London games.
“Our target is fourth to sixth, so our expectations are high,” said GB’s water polo team leader Joanna Wray, who believes the women’s recent spell playing in Hungary’s National League showed that her side are ready for the challenge of taking on the world’s best teams.
“We all train full time and we want to push ourselves as much as possible.
“Being competitive for us is contesting every game to the highest level and playing as best as we possible can.
“The women have a good chance and they are very competitive.”