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Sophie Wells refusing to take Olympic Games place for granted

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: June 26, 2012

Stepping in the right direction: Sophie Wells is aiming for a place in Team GB’s Paralympic squad, but insists her place in the team is not certain

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Sophie Wells' dazzling record suggests she should be a dead certainty for a coveted Paralympic berth.

At 22, the equestrian dressage competitor is already a world and European champion in her discipline.

She was also selected to compete in Beijing four years ago – only for joy to turn to tears when she had to pull out because her horse Touchdown went lame.

Impressive performances in trials this year would also indicate Wells will get the nod when 12 candidates are whittled down to the final five on July 9.

But despite her quite exemplary CV, the former Robert Pattinson School student is refusing to count her chickens just yet.

"It would be silly for me to tempt fate before any decisions are made but of course I am desperate to be selected," said Wells.

"Great Britain is renowned for being the best nation in para dressage so it is anything but easy.

"Everyone wants to be selected and once they are selected everyone wants to win gold.

"There will always be far more disappointed people than happy people."

After scooping three European gold medals in 2009, she was crowned double world champion a year later. Now, Wells is hell-bent on completing the set.

"I want to get the full collection if I can and that means winning a gold medal at the Paralympics in my home country," continued Wells, who now lives near Nottingham.

"The dream of competing at my home Paralympics is something I have been excited about for a very long time."

As training intensifies, Wells conceded she seldom has the chance to do her own thing and misses spending valuable time with her friends and family.

"There is never any down time," added Wells. "Training is really intense. As well as riding on the horses, I am in the gym four times a week and we are now doing biomechanics as well.

"I try and get back to see the family as often as I can but it's just not possible to do it often.

"Unfortunately to get to the top in any sport you have to make some serious sacrifices. It is just something you have to accept as an athlete."

Wells will compete in a final trials session on July 6 before the cut is made three days later.

Four of the selected five will compete for Team GB in both individual and team events while the fifth will take part just as an individual.

Allen added: "We just have to take the Queen's Jubilee as an example that we are a very patriotic country and that's why I think London can be the best Games ever."

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