Ipswich star Harry Martin aims to book his GB Olympic place at India tournament
- Credit: Ady Kerry
Ipswich hockey star Harry Martin heads to India later this month, safe in the knowledge that his Olympic destiny is in his own hands.
The 23-year-old ex-Ipswich School pupil has been selected in Bobby Crutchley’s Great Britain squad for the Hockey World League Final which starts in Raipur on November 27.
Great Britain have already booked their spot for next year’s Olympics in Brazil, courtesy of their edgy 2-1 victory over Pakistan in the quarter finals of July’s World League semi-final, in Belgium.
With qualification sealed, it is now up to Crutchley’s players to impress in pool games against Canada, Australia and Belgium as they attempt to make the cut for next year’s Games.
Fellow Ipswich-born player, goalkeeper George Pinner, has been rested for the upcoming tournament and should be one of Crutchley’s first picks for South America, having established himself as England and Great Britain’s number one after being a reserve at London 2012 almost four years ago.
Martin, the youngest member of Great Britain’s squad at the last Olympics and a bronze medal winner at last year’s Commonwealth Games, said: “With some of the more established players having been left out, it is a great opportunity to impress and do well.
“When we qualified for the Olympics in Belgium it was very tiring and the pressure was huge, knowing that if we won we would be going to Rio.
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“Had we lost we would have felt a very different kind of pressure as we probably wouldn’t be going. We didn’t have that before as we didn’t have to qualify for London 2012.”
Great Britain finished fourth at their home Games in London but Martin insists the target is to medal in Rio.
“We would not be here if we did not think we could challenge,” added the Beeston midfielder.
“We want to go and win a medal. We have got the set-up at Bisham Abbey and funding so everything is set up for us to challenge at the Olympics.
“It’s going to be tough as every other team is improving, but there is a very positive feeling in the camp.”
Economics student Martin, who is in the process of completing his dissertation at Nottingham University and is line to achieve upper second-class honours said he feels in good shape, ahead of a big year.
“Over the past three years it’s been a balancing act between studying and training and that was not ideal and lent itself to injuries.
“I feel really strong now.”