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OLYMPICS: Games nerves still there for Dunham
3:00pm Friday 15th June 2012 in Sport
ANNE Dunham admits that the experience of competing at four consecutive Paralympic Games isn’t enough to fight off the nerves as she bids to qualify for a record fifth.
The 63-year-old Broad Hinton veteran has two major championships to tackle before the Great Britain selectors announce the make-up of the team for London 2012.
And, despite having seven Paralympic medals under her belt, Dunham says that she’s feeling the pressure as much as ever as she looks to impress on Teddy and Lucas Normark.
Next Monday and Tuesday, Dunham competes at the British National Para Championships at Hickstead before the Hartpury Para International Dressage on July 4-9, with the British Paralympic selections due to be announced shortly afterwards.
“The whole season so far has shot by but at the moment, things are really crawling and these two big events will be exciting but it’s also really nerve-wracking,” said Dunham.
“You’re just always hoping that nothing goes wrong but the fact that I am nervous is a good thing.
“If I didn’t get nervous, it would mean that I take everything for granted.
“I am confident (of qualifying for London) but you still never know what’s going to happen.
“Teddy’s unbeaten since this time last year and Lucas is back on form after having an operation to have some sarcoids (benign forms of skin cancer) removed.
“I still think Teddy will be the favourite out of the two because of his experience but they’re both getting scores in the mid-to-high 70s.”
Having been to games in Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing, Dunham is no stranger to the atmosphere of the Paralympic and Olympic Games and said that, if she does make it to London this summer, she is looking forward to taking in some other sports away from dressage.
Dunham said: “When you’re not having to train and you do have some free time, it’s always great to go and look at some of the other sports.
“We might get the chance to watch the Olympic dressage but I’ve also liked having a look at things like the rugby at Paralympics in the past.”