ADPP caught up with Great Britain’s Kelly Sibley. We wanted to find out about her goals for the year ahead and get the inside scoop on her preparation and mentality heading into the Olympic Year.
We have finally entered into the Olympic year, I can imagine your extremely excited?!
Yes I am very excited, I can’t believe 2012 is finally here.
More on the Olympics to come but firstly; there are a lot of tournaments to be played before the July and August games, which ones are you hoping to compete in?
I will be playing in Hungary Open that starts this week 17th-21st Jan. Then I am hoping to compete in World team championships and then i also hope to play in the Chinese Open this summer.
There are also the Olympic qualification tournaments for both Europe and the
world. It is going to be a busy year for Table Tennis!
How is everything going at club level in Spain?
It’s going really well in Spain, my club is fantastic, all the people that are involved with Enea Leka Irun (Kelly’s Clubs Name) are really nice and so helpful. We have had a few good results and we are hoping to qualify for the ETTU Cup for next season.
So it is officially 191 days until the opening ceremony in London takes place and there has been a lot of preparation into making these games happen. What are you most looking forward to about it all?
The thing that I’m looking forward to most is just playing the sport that I love in the biggest event ever in my home country. It’s an athletes dream and it just gives me goosebumps knowing that this will come true in July. To just think that in a few months time I could be walking out in at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London is mind blowing!!
And in terms of your training… how is everything going?
My training is going really well. We have been training towards the Olympics ever since we won the bid and I feel as though my training is going as well as it could be at this point. I’ve just got to keep pushing myself and believing in what I do.
How is the rest of the camp at GB’s Sheffield training centre?
The atmosphere at Sheffield is really good, we are pushing each other on to the best of our abilities and we all want each other to succeed, our team spirit is great.
Coming into the games, China are clearly going to be the favorites but we all like an underdog. Which country or players could you predict making a possible upset?!
Germany, and in particular, Timo boll can produce an upset in the games because he has beaten the top Chinese players before.
A change to the rules means countries will be restricted to two singles players in London instead of three. Do you feel that this change will have a big effect on the competition?
I don’t think that this will make that much of a difference.
And finally, do you feel that Team GB will be ready to mount a serious challenge for some medals? And if so, in which categories in particular?
I think we all have to believe that we could produce some unexpected results as we have all proven that we can win against some of the best players in the world. With the home crowd behind us, anything can happen. What a great opportunity and event this is to produce some of your best results and to, potentially, make history for Team GB Table Tennis.
Thanks very much for your time Kelly, ADPP wishes you a successful 2012!
It was great to speak with Kelly. She is one of the best players to have represented Great Britain and England, period. We GB need to keep pushing forward with the sport as the standards have increased dramatically in the last 5 years. If we continue to up our game at the current level, there is no reason why we can’t expect team GB to be develop into a world beating side.
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