Smith eyes medal glory

Richard Smith and his Great Britain team-mates celebrate Barry Middleton scoring against Argentina
Richard Smith and his Great Britain team-mates celebrate Barry Middleton scoring against Argentina
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Richard Smith geared up for today’s clash with South Africa and insisted: We’re aiming for a medal.

And the Purbrook hockey ace insisted Great Britain are good enough to beat any team in the world going into the clash.

Smith is looking to build on a flying start for Great Britain when they crushed Argentina 4-1 in their Olympic opener on Monday.

The 24-year-old defender was on the scoresheet for GB with the final goal of a dominant display.

The aim is now to build on that in their second pool A meeting at the Riverbank Arena, which starts at 4pm.

Smith believes the 2009 European Champions have shown the quality they possess so far.

And the former City of Portsmouth man is insistent he side can get among the medals when the tournament comes down to the business end of the action.

Smith said: ‘Really, we feel we should be in the semi-finals. We feel we are a good enough squad to do that.

‘Obviously, there will be some close games to get there but we feel we can beat anyone in the world.

‘It will be interesting to see what happens when we do get to that point. We hope to be in a medal game.’

Smith is now an established member of the GB set-up, with 85 international appearances to his name.

But he stated he was taking nothing for granted about his Olympic ambitions going into the event.

Now he’s involved, however, he’s sure the experience will be second to none.

‘This will be hard to beat. I came into the squad in 2009 and didn’t really know what my chances would be three years down the line but it’s gone well,’ said Smith.

‘I didn’t really have expectations to make the squad, I just got on with my hockey and that seemed to work.

‘There was a dip in form around Christmas for me.

‘But I came back and told myself to knuckle down and it really paid off.’

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