Karina Le Fevre is highly motivated to make her second Commonwealth Games experience better than her first – and believes England has the squad to make that possible.
Le Fevre was part of the women’s team which missed out on a medal in Delhi last time out, agonisingly finishing fourth.
And she believes that experience, allied to a stronger line-up and the right preparation, will allow her and her team-mates to make that step on to the podium in Glasgow, where she will play in the team event, the women’s doubles (with Tin-Tin Ho) and the mixed doubles alongside Sam Walker.
“We just missed out on medals so obviously this time we have more motivation to go on and win one of the medals,” said the Teesside player. “Hopefully it will be gold or silver but even bronze would be an improvement from Delhi.
“To win medals is our aim, definitely. I don’t think it’s too much to ask but obviously we don’t know what the other teams are going to be like – we’re really going to have to see when we get there.
“Because the team’s strength has improved that’s another reason we are wanting to win medals.
“We’re stronger than we were in Delhi and we weren’t too far away then, but hopefully now that our level has improved, we are all in it together and we want to get as good a level as we can.
“At the moment we’re just preparing as best we can and then hoping we get there at our best level.”
That preparation has included training camps in China and at Lilleshall, and Le Fevre added: “Once you are selected that’s when the real hard work starts and obviously the team come together more to train and all your focus is going on that.”
Aside from the table time, there was one aspect of the Lilleshall camp which Le Fevre, who turns 21 a week before the Games begin, found particularly useful.
“I thought the psychology session was really helpful,” she said. “Hopefully I can take that into Glasgow – anything to help my level of my game is useful.”
Le Fevre can also rely on some family support in Glasgow, and is banking on a great atmosphere in the Scotstoun Sports Campus.
“I loved it in Delhi so I know what it’s going to be like,” said the Ormesby and Tassin Club Pongiste player. “I think it’ll be a pretty friendly atmosphere and obviously a lot of our families are going to be there, so there will be English support as well as Scottish. I think it will help us more than anything, I don’t think it’s going to go against us.
“My parents are going to go, my sister might go and hopefully a couple of my friends are going to go but I’m not sure yet.
“I’ve just got a bunch of tickets I’m going to give to whoever wants to go on the day. I’ll probably avoid seeing them as I’ll be mainly sticking with the team, but that’s fine with me.”
It’s all about focus on that podium quest for Le Fevre.
By Russell Moore (July 9th, 2014)