PARALYMPICS: Hunt out at first-round stage
LOUISE Hunt refused to strike a downbeat note despite seeing her wheelchair tennis campaign ended in the opening round at the Paralympic Games.
The 21-year-old was handed a big test in the first round against world number 11 Yui Kamiji, and in the end the challenge proved too great.
Kamiji claimed the opening two games of the first set and while Hunt won the third, the Japanese player won the next four to take the opening set 6-1.
The second set followed a similar pattern, with Hunt pulling a game back at 3-1 only for Kamiji to complete another 6-1 triumph and end the Wanborough star’s campaign in less than an hour.
Ranked 22nd in the world, the University of Bath student had hoped to go further in the competition, but insisted could still look back on her London experience with pride.
“I really enjoyed the match and was really pleased with how I played,” she said.
“I was obviously disappointed that I lost but Yui is a great player and I have a lot of respect for her and wish her all the best for the later rounds.
“I would have preferred a better draw maybe, but I felt I stepped up to the mark very well and did the best I could do.
“Even though I lost I enjoyed every minute of it, the crowd were brilliant. I’d like to thank everyone who came out and supported me.
“They were fantastic and they really did make it a fantastic experience for me.
“My training had been going really well and my tournaments have been really great, but I was in the best shape I could have been and I’m really happy to be honest.
“Obviously I’d rather I hadn’t lost in the first round but sometimes things don’t go your way and you have to get on with it.”
After making her Paralympics debut, Hunt’s next aim is another first, with the sports science and performance student eyeing up some rest and relaxation before starting all over again.
“I’m actually going to take the first break I have ever taken in my life,” she added.
“I won’t be training again until the end of September and then I’ll have three or four tournaments this year, and then I hope to head off to Australia in January for four big tournaments.
“I’ll take it easy for the rest of the year and then just get back into it next year.”
Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of ParalympicsGB and proud partner of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012.
l TROWBRIDGE swimmer Chloe Davies was eliminated in the heats of the S14 200m freestyle yesterday.
The 13-year-old had hoped to follow up her fifth-placed finish in the S14 100m backstroke on Friday with another final.