PARALYMPICS LONDON 2012: Bark but no bite as British Bulldogs lose basketball bronze medal game to USA
VETERAN Paralympian Simon Munn claimed Great Britain's wheelchair basketball team had 'let people down' following their bronze medal defeat to the USA at the Paralympics.
DISAPPOINTED: Great Britain's Terry Bywater is already looking to Rio after losing in the bronze medal match of the wheelchair basketball at the London 2012 Paralympics
Munn has one silver and two bronzes from his six Games appearances and at 44 won't be back to right the wrong of London in Rio.
This was Great Britain's fourth straight Paralympic bronze medal match and coach Murray Treseder admitted they got what they deserved after a 61-46 defeat in front of over 12,000 home fans.
Guard Scott Serio scored 20 points as the USA exacted revenge in a replay of the same match in Beijing four years ago, while Great Britain were allowed little space, made few scoring opportunities and, when they had them, failed to capitalise.
“I’m just really, bitterly disappointed," said Munn.
"Our supporters have been absolutely fantastic. I’m deflated, I feel as though we’ve let people down, I’ve let my family down."
British star man Terry Bywater, who led the defence with 12 rebounds as well as scoring 14 points, felt his side’s early struggles had put them in a position from which they could never recover.
“They’re one of the best teams in the world. They did a hell of a job in defence against us but in the first 20 minutes we just weren’t good enough and it just left us too much to do,” he said.
“We gave it absolutely everything but we just couldn’t get that four or six points in front.
“There were 12,000 people out there, it’s a home Paralympics, there is pressure on us but we haven’t played like that the whole tournament.”
But Bywater has already set his sights on playing at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio - although he knows Great Britain will have to make some major improvements to close the gap on champions Canada, who beat the hosts in the group stages and again in the semi-finals before swatting aside Australia in a close final.
“This is my fourth Games, I’m only 29. The intensity of the game’s just changing every day," he added.
“But I’m going to give it absolutely everything I’ve got to get there because I’ve missed out on a medal at a home Olympics and I want revenge in four years’ time. I’ll start my training next week for it.
“This has been the best experience of my life. Every morning when we’ve woken up, every one of us has been excited just to roll out and play in front of the family and the crowd.
“Every single person who has seen this sport has said they want to see it on the television, more in the media. Everybody loves wheelchair basketball.
“London 2012 has been a dream come true but we just didn’t get the icing on the cake.”
© Sportsbeat 2012