Alfie Hewett confirmed in Great Britain team for Rio Paralympics
PUBLISHED: 16:01 28 June 2016 | UPDATED: 17:56 28 June 2016
Norfolk wheelchair tennis star Alfie Hewett has been named in the Great Britain team for the upcoming Paralympics in Brazil.
The teenager has continued his rapid rise in the game, breaking into the world top 10 singles ranking as he prepares to take part in the first ever wheelchair singles at Wimbledon next week.
Hewett, originally from Cantley, near Acle, was one of the 10 players named by the British Paralympic Association in an announcement from New Palace Yard under Big Ben in the Houses of Parliament earlier today.
The 18-year-old City College Norwich student said: “Being selected to play at the Rio Paralympic Games is something that I have always dreamt about doing ever since I got involved with the sport.
“To finally have reached that goal is a feeling that is very overwhelming. However, it is a feeling I must get over and focus on what I want to achieve.
“I am very proud that I have got to this stage within my tennis, but I feel like I can go further than just reaching the Games, so I must keep level-headed and continue to work hard on what I want to achieve. I don’t want to set expectation levels too high, considering it is my first Games.”
Hewett is named alongside world number three Gordon Reid, who won the Australian Open in January, as well as Marc McCarroll and David Phillipson as the GB team’s men’s players.
Also selected are London 2012 medallists Jordanne Whiley and Lucy Shuker, who won bronze in the women’s doubles, as well as Louise Hunt.
In the highly competitive quad division – for those with impairment that affects the upper as well as lower body – London 2012 doubles silver medallist Andy Lapthorne is selected alongside Jamie Burdekin and Games debutant Antony Cotterill.
Geraint Richards, team leader for wheelchair tennis, said: “I’m very proud of the 10 players selected from the Tennis Foundation’s world class performance programme to go to Rio as they have all been working incredibly hard to rise up the rankings and secure their place.
“With so many recent Grand Slam successes our hopes and expectations are high for medals at the Games and I’m sure they will all do ParalympicsGB proud come September.”
Penny Briscoe, chef de mission for ParalympicsGB, added: “This is a very strong line-up of wheelchair tennis players and I am so proud to be announcing them today.
“Their performances over the last four years really speak for themselves and I have every confidence that they will excel this summer in Rio.
“I would like to pay credit to Geraint and his team at the Tennis Foundation for a fantastic job in delivering these athletes to this point and I know they will be working hard over the coming weeks to finalise preparations.”
Hewett competed at Wimbledon in the doubles last year but is scheduled to feature in the singles this year, with the quarter-finals beginning on Thursday, July 7.
The Paralympics begin in Rio on Wednesday, September 7 and conclude on Sunday, September 18.