Terry Bywater ready to put London 2012 heartbreak

Terry Bywater
Co-captain Terry Bywater has won 10 major championships medals during his 14 year international career

Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball co-captain Terry Bywater says he is ready to move past his London "heartbreak".

Redcar-born Bywater will compete in his fifth Games in Rio, having been part of the team that finished fourth in 2012.

"[London 2012] was a dream come true, but it was bitter-sweet for me - finishing fourth was heartbreaking," Bywater told BBC Tees.

"I've dwelt on it too much, but I've got over it. It's time to go and get what we deserve - that gold medal."

Having made his Paralympic debut aged just 17 in Sydney, 33-year old Bywater is a veteran within the team selected to compete at this year's Paralympics.

The Teesider already has two Paralympic bronzes to his name, along with one World and seven European Championships medals, but still relishes every international call-up.

"I'm absolutely over the moon, ecstatic. It's a very proud moment for me, my family and friends," he added.

"You look back over your career and you talk about a fifth Paralympic Games, it's pretty crazy. All that time has just flown by."

The GB side have won the last three successive European Championships, and Bywater believes a mixture of youth and experience could be the key to replicating this success in Rio.

Bywater - who trains both in Spain and Worcester with the GB team - added: "We've got a few veterans in the team, There's 12 Paralympic Games between me and Simon Munn, a few guys that were in London but we've also got five newbies this time round.

"But for me they're not rookies. They are going to play a huge part in what we do out there."

"I think we've got that perfect blend - we've got some players that have been around the block and know what it's all about and then we've got these exciting new kids that are coming through."

The men's team begin their Rio campaign on Thursday, 8 September against Algeria before facing Iran, Brazil, Germany and the USA, who beat them to Bronze at the last Games.

"We all know how difficult it is to win a medal at a Paralympic Games," he said.

"But I don't see why we can't do something special and give that thanks back to UK Sport, back to everyone involved and give them what they deserve which is that gold medal around our necks."

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