European gold the target for MK’s British wheelchair basketball ace

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MILTON Keynes teenager Emmanuel Filson will take centre stage at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in July when Great Britain battle it out in the U22 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships.

A silver medallist at the 2010 European Championships, the 19-year-old is now looking to help GB to gold close to home in Aylesbury from July 10-15.

With fierce competition from seven of Europe’s – and the World’s – leading teams, Filson knows there will be no easy matches, but insists he is ready for the challenge.

“I can’t wait to play the best junior teams in Europe and I urge everyone to come and watch some great wheelchair basketball,” he said.

“Personally, I’m feeling pretty confident. I think we’re definitely capable of getting to the final and winning.”

Held once every two years, the 2010 Championships in Italy saw Filson play a key role as part of the Great Britain team which stormed to the final before facing a heartbreaking 44-42 defeat to Sweden after a stunning comeback from 10 points down.

Now, with the tournament on home ground and four of the silver medallists in the team once more, GB will be pushing rivals France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey to the limit at Stoke Mandeville.

GB U22 head coach Mat Foden said: “Emmanuel is a key member of an incredibly strong team which has trained extremely hard throughout the season and at recent camps.

“The U22 European Championships is always a tough competition, but we know what we’ve got to do, and that we have the talent and determination to do well and achieve our goal of qualifying for next year’s U23 World Championships in Turkey.”