THERE may still be two years to go before the next Olympics but Louise Hunt still has her eyes firmly fixed on the Rio Games in 2016.
Having appeared at London 2012, the Wanborough wheelchair tennis player is hopeful of making another Games and, although she has plenty of targets to hit before then, a trip to Brazil is her ultimate goal.
Hunt is currently ranked 18 in the world singles and 12th for doubles, with a rise up the order of merit and appearances at Wimbledon being vital stepping stones towards another Olympic dream.
“I want to qualify for Wimbledon next year and I already have my partner chosen because we only have a doubles event, so if I can move up a few more places in the rankings that would be good,” she said.
“For me it’s about climbing up the rankings and winning tournaments, I focus week to week and on each tournament which is important. Rio is obviously the goal and with London I just went week by week and eventually I got there, so I need to do it the same way again.
“If you start counting down the days to Rio it can get really scary and you think to yourself that you have no time at all, but if you take it week to week it’s not as overwhelming as it can seem.
“I’m really happy with things but I would like to be ranked in the top 10, but above top 12 I’m happy.
“I’m optimistic because I’ve beaten four players ranked above me this year already and that’s given me a lot of confidence.”
Hunt has a fresh new look after teaming up with Swindon-based sports clothing company Silverback, and his hopeful her new line of bespoke kit will help her build up brand recognition as she gears up for another Olympics.
“It’s massively important in terms of comfort and fit because if you’re not comfortable you’re not going to be able to perform well,” she said.
“To have something specifically made for you is amazing and it looks great.
“I was like a kid at Christmas when it arrived and it all looks great which is brilliant.
“It will help with promoting myself which is pretty important when you are looking for sponsorship and funding.
“It’s also important to give back to your sport and that’s a big goal for me in the future, so this is really important in terms of being recognisable.
“The guys from Silverback have been amazing and it’s something really good to have been a part of.”