Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Laura Unsworth set for Commonwealth hockey gold tilt

Laura Unsworth says that the upgrade to the facility which paved the way for her to become GB’s most decorated hockey Olympian is an exciting time ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Wyndley Leisure Centre in Sutton Coldfield was announced last week as the training venue for triathlon, Para triathlon and hockey for the 2022 Birmingham Games. It is currently undergoing a £800,000 refit.

“If it wasn’t for this place, I probably wouldn’t be stood here now having competed at multiple Commonwealth Games,” said Unsworth.

“For it to be upgraded is really exciting for Sutton Coldfield and the community.”

England will be going for a first Commonwealth gold on home turf next summer at the University of Birmingham venue.

“I know we will be going there wanting to come away with the gold medal,” Unsworth said.

“We have not quite achieved it in the last couple of Commonwealth Games so we would love to come away with a gold medal.

“It is definitely a target of mine. I have a silver and a couple of bronzes, so a gold would be absolutely wonderful.

A third Olympic hockey medal at Tokyo 2020 – the first British male or female player to achieve the mark – cemented Unsworth’s place as one of the outstanding defenders over the last decade in the world game.

She will now aim for a fourth at Paris 2024, which will also take in a cycle including next summer’s World Cup. She told Inside the Games: “My body is getting a little bit older but to have the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games just eight or nine months away is something for me to aim for in the short-term.

“I would love to go to Paris in the long-term but there are a lot of overriding things that can have an impact on that.”

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