HE has medalled at three separate Commonwealth Games, but Andrew Baggaley is desperate to deliver when it matters most - on home soil at the 2012 London Olympics.
The reigning triple English table tennis champion signed a one-year deal with Pro ‘A’ French National club Nice CPC back in October, in a move to play the world’s best on a weekly basis.
The 28-year-old made his debut in what is widely regarded as Europe’s strongest league just after winning team silver and doubles bronze at the last Games in Delhi last October.
And with the bulk of the world’s top 20 plying their trade across the channel, Baggaley is convinced he’s on the right road to success, with the London Olympics now almost exactly 500 days away.
“At every Commonwealth Games I’ve competed at I’ve won a medal,” said Baggaley, who if selected would see his Olympic singles campaign kick-off on July 28 next year.
“I got two golds in Manchester and brought home a bronze and silver in Delhi. My confidence is high coming off the back of my best season ever and I’m out to win in London.
“I’m going to be playing lots of international Pro-Tour tournaments culminating at the Olympic Games. Time goes so quickly and of course I’m really looking forward to London but realistically it’s a long way away.
“I want to be go into the Games in the best form of my career and injury-free. In order to do that, you can’t lose focus on the short term, and that means performing well in every international and league event that I take part in until then.”
Baggaley’s 2012 participation is yet to be confirmed with the British Olympic Association still debating whether they will take up the sole host places in both the men’s and women’s singles and team event.
After sacrificing life in the UK in order to chase week in week out world-class opposition in France, Baggaley insists his preparations are such that he will be prepared for anything thrown his way.
“London is the pinnacle of any sportsman’s career and I’ll never get the chance to compete in front of a home crowd again, so my preparation needs to be perfect,” he added.
“I want to go into London peaking at the right time. I want to have some big wins on the Tour and once I’ve got that under my belt it will give me so much belief that I can go into the Olympics with a realistic chance of winning a medal.
“A big Pro-Tour win will just give me a massive amount of belief, so for the moment that needs to be where my focus lies.
“We should really know by now but I’m confident that I will be selected. I feel like I’m the best player we have and I should be selected. My results have been really good of late.”
The London Games will be exactly 500 days away on March 15, and the opening ceremony will take place on July 27.