PEACEHAVEN wheelchair basketball star Simon Munn insists this month’s BT Paralympic World Cup will be the perfect warm-up in his bid to potentially end his career on a high with London 2012 gold.
The 44-year-old veteran is contemplating retirement after this summer’s Paralympics and is determined to add the missing medal to his Games haul of one silver and two bronzes.
Munn will relinquish the captaincy to Jon Pollock, returning from injury, for the World Cup as Britain step up their preparations by facing off against the USA, Germany and Japan in Manchester.
And with the Paralympics themselves following three months afterwards Munn knows the World Cup will be a great chance to iron out any remaining bugs in what he could be his final trip to Manchester.
“I’ve been thinking about retiring after the Paralympics so to get a gold medal in London would be the perfect end to my career,” said Munn, who helped Britain to the European title last year.
“It would be brilliant to complete my medal collection in London. If I’m being honest I want gold and nothing less, but if we can get on the podium it will still be a fantastic achievement for us.
“It’s always nice to go to the Paralympic World Cup and perform well. It’s a really well-run tournament and we always get a lot out of it.
“It won’t be easy because there are three good teams competing with us. To come away with three wins against Germany, the USA and Japan would be a real achievement.
“But it’s all about building towards London now. If you lose every game but then come back with a medal from the Paralympics it will have all been worthwhile.
“You can look at it both ways. Sometimes with tournaments you can learn more from your mistakes – if you lose you know you’ve got work to do.”
With London just around the corner you could forgive Munn and co for being slightly cautious on the court to keep themselves in top condition.
But Munn is adamant neither he nor his teammates can afford not to pull any punches in Manchester with the final Paralympic team still to be decided.
“No one wants to get injured with the Paralympics coming up but we don’t think about it,” he added.
“If injuries happen then they happen.
“We go into every tournament to play hard, the way we want to play. Everyone’s fighting for their place at London.
“It’s all about getting picked so you can’t shy away from anything.
“We’re European champions and we’re going to go out there and perform.”
The BT Paralympic World Cup is taking place in Manchester from 22-26 May with elite international athletes competing in Athletics, Football 7-aside and Wheelchair Basketball.
Go to www.btparalympicworldcup.com for tickets and more information.