Tokyo 2020 bronze medal 'just as good' as Rio 2016 gold, says former Hill Head resident and Team GB women's hockey goalkeeper Maddie Hinch
Goalkeeper Maddie Hinch claimed Team GB women's hockey Tokyo 2020 bronze medal felt 'just as good' as going all the way to win gold at Rio 2016.
The former Hill Head resident was in goal as GB's women recorded a thrilling 4-3 victory over India to secure Olympic bronze.
For Hinch, who was GB women's penalty hero as they went all the way in Rio, it was a second Games medal.
The team would have come into Tokyo 2020 determined to retain Olympic gold, however, Hinch insists given the 'tough times' the squad have faced in the five years since Rio they should take great pride from their achievement of winning bronze.
Hinch, now based in Sussex, said: ‘It feels just as good (as Rio). It's hard to put into words, just because of the (last) five years. I can't tell you how tough it has been at times.
‘It would have been very easy to crumble, given we had a really terrible six minutes and let them back into the game, but the belief was there with this group and we deserved it.
‘I've had some pretty low moments since Rio. I put an awful lot of pressure on myself, but the one thing I said to myself coming here was that I would enjoy it, whatever happens, and I feel I have done that.
‘I think I have found my love for the game again recently, and it is about not looking too far ahead.’
At 32, Hinch is refusing to rule out vying to keep her place in goal for the Paris Games in 2023.
But the Team GB women's hockey goalkeeper stressed she must start 'looking after herself' more and making sure she's in the best position to potentially be a part of the next Olympics.
Hinch added: ‘If I still feel I can contribute to this team and help them win medals, I will be there (Paris 2024), but I have got to start looking after myself more and make sure I am in a good place all the time.'
Former Hill Head resident Hinch joins Portsmouth area pair Eilidh McIntyre, from Hayling Island, and Portchester-raised Declan Brooks in winning medals at Tokyo 2020.