29 August 2018
Warburton eyes more glory after life-changing World Championships
At the age of 21, Gregg Warburton already has a Paralympic medal and a World Championship title to his name – but that hasn’t stopped him dreaming of even more honours.
Warburton played a key role in Great Britain’s first ever Wheelchair Basketball World Championship crown as they created history by downing the United States in Hamburg last weekend.
The talented player put up 22 points in the semi-finals against Iran before dropping another 15 in the final to upset the Paralympic champions.
Warburton, who was part of the team that won bronze in Rio two years ago, admits that his new status as a world champion is still sinking in but claims the achievements of the GB team will change his life forever.
He said: “It genuinely hasn’t sunk in yet, to be honest. There was a relief, I would say, at the end. There were happy emotions for winning but it was also emotionally draining because of the all the hard work you’ve put in has paid off.
“I think there was a belief coming into the tournament. We had a really good preparation where we went to Poland and went undefeated in a tournament.
“That helped us go from strength to strength, so there was definitely a belief that we could win it.
“To win is life-changing, individually and a sport as a whole in this country. To make history and do something that’s never been done before gives the new generation something to also aspire to.
Warburton was a star in Hamburg
“We never had that when I was young but to now have those foundations there we’re desperate to continue that success.”
The shooting sensation was part of Great Britain’s successful junior side which clinched the world title last year but to replicate that on the senior stage is something Warburton will hold dear for the rest of his life.
Great Britain lost to the US in the pool stages before exacting revenge in the final with a 79-62 triumph.
Getting to a major final was a huge hurdle cleared by Haj Bhania’s side and coming away with the World Championship crown along with the scalp of the defending Paralympic champions will turn heads.
"There’s definitely going to be a target on our back now heading into Tokyo in a couple of years’ time"
Warburton knows GB will be team to beat heading into Tokyo in two years’ time but the message is simple – win gold in 2020.
He said: “We want to keep going. It’s more difficult to stay on top than it is to get to the top and I think we’ll be desperate to stay up there.
“There’s definitely going to be a target on our back now heading into Tokyo in a couple of years’ time.
“Beating the best team in the world from the last few years definitely brings a lot of attention onto us but we’re a young team and we’re hungry to pick up every honour.
“It’s tough to say how we will react but there’s a lot of motivation to continue the success. We have a great set-up and if we look after ourselves we will be in good shape.
“I’m sure the two years will fly by. We have the Europeans next year, which will be incredibly tough. There’s a number of top teams in Europe so we have to stay on our game, but we are confident we can compete in 2020.”
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