OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Cullen issues hockey bronze medal match battle cry
By Sean-Paul Doran, Sportsbeat, London 2012
CRISTA Cullen insists she will fight with ‘every ounce of blood’ to ensure Great Britain women’s hockey team secure a London 2012 medal.
BOUNCING BACK: Great Britain women's hockey team struggled to cope with defeat to Argentina but will fight for their lives against New Zealand for bronze
Defender Cullen and her teammates line up against New Zealand on Friday in the third-place playoff after falling to a narrow 2-1 semi-final defeat against Argentina.
And the 26-year-old, who was Team GB’s top scorer at Beijing 2008, is determined to ensure her side salvage a bronze medal after they had targeted gold on home soil.
“I will fight with every ounce of blood I have got to make sure I come home with a bronze medal,” said Cullen, who plays her club hockey with Leicester.
“We have not been shy of our aspirations. For seven years our sole reason for training so hard was the aspiration to win a gold medal.
“We are one of the fittest teams here and we’ve put a lot of hard graft in here.”
Team GB finished in sixth place at Beijing 2008 and had been tipped as one of the teams that would compete for the Olympic title in London.
The last time a British hockey team finished on an Olympic podium was the women at Barcelona 1992 where they secured third place.
And Cullen admitted that while bronze is not the colour of medal she had dreamed of winning, she is determined to overcome their semi-final disappointment to finish their Olympic campaign with a win.
“The emotion you saw after the Argentina game are all those hard-fought days we have grafted through and I can’t quite believe it,” she said.
“Bronze is everything we have to play for now. We need to go away, get it out of our systems – it is hard to admit your dream is over to some extent – but I am not going home empty handed.”
© Sportsbeat 2012