No retirement talk from ace Anthony

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ANTHONY Peddle admits he may be past his powerlifting prime as he prepares for a seventh Paralympic appearance in London next week but the Matlock ace is still refusing to talk of retirement.

Peddle made his Paralympic debut at the Seoul Games in 1988 almost four years before one of his teammates on the British powerlifting team for London 2012 – Zoe Newson – was born.

He was just 17 at the time and indeed, four years later at Barcelona 1992, Peddle claimed the first of his three Paralympic medals, bronze in the 52kg event.

Peddle repeated the trick at Atlanta 1996, this time in the 48kg, while his crowning moment, quite literally, came at Sydney 2000 when he won gold, in a new world record, in the same event.

Since then, however, the medals have dried up with Peddle failing to record a mark at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 and conceding he may never reach the Paralympic podium again.

Peddle, now 41, won’t even be aiming for it in London but, regardless of what happens, he’ll treat himself to a break afterwards, where then and only then will he contemplate his future in the sport.

“I had no plans to stop competing, and I have no plans to stop as of yet, I just wanted to get to the Games first and foremost,” said Peddle.

“I am taking a holiday after the Games finish where I will have time to just have a think about what I want to do and then I will take it from there.

“Right now, I am fully focused on the next couple of weeks and doing as well as I can in front of this home British crowd.

“I have got no medals as an absolute aim – those days have maybe been and gone. If I can go and compete the best I can, that is all I can ask for.

“Anything extra I get out of it will be a nice little bonus so we will see what happens.

At the end of the day, I won my gold in Sydney, and got medals in Barcelona and Atlanta.

“So it is almost like I have had my time at the top. It is just nice to still be competing and I will just have to see what happens this summer.”

Peddle is one of six British powerlifters, including Newson, chosen for London 2012 with Natalie Blake, Jason Irving and Ali Jawad also retained from Beijing 2008.

Neither claimed a medal but with 20-year-old Newson a fresh addition to the team along with Paul Efayena Peddle is confident of Britain’s chances at the ExCeL.

“The plan is for Britain to be second in the medal table again and seeing what I have seen I don’t see why we can’t do that – there are some really talented individuals across the board,” he added.

“It is good to see so many youngsters coming into the team.

“People like me won’t always be around so it is nice to see there are athletes there to take over the mantle down the line.”

The games run from August 29 to September 9 with Anthony due to be in action on the afternoon of Thursday, August 30.

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