Turner: Home support will be crucial at London 2012

FOLLOWING last night’s opening ceremony, the London 2012 Paralympic Games today begin with Great Britain targeting a total of 103 medals that wheelchair basketball player Helen Turner believes the home crowd can significantly influence.

Turner is today likely to feature for Great Britain’s women against Holland yet for all of her experience – London 2012 is her third Games – she is highly excited about competing in London and in a team that hopes to top the tally of 102 medals won four years ago in Beijing.

“It will be extremely special,” said Turner (below left). “We know they will get behind us. It gives us that extra bit of confidence that we need on the court.

“It will be nerve-wracking but I think the trick is to look at the crowd, absorb it, and then forget it. We just have to do our jobs and enjoy the crowd when we need.

“We played the best in the world and teams ranked higher [in the World Cup]. That preparation is brilliant.”

TODAY AT THE GAMES

Cycling
British cyclists will be in action at the Velodrome, with Sarah Storey participating in the individual C5 pursuit final as she seeks to secure the eighth gold medal of her career

Powerlifting
Anthony Peddle, in his seventh Games, participates in the men’s 48 kg event at the ExCel from 3pm

Wheelchair basketball
Britain’s men face Germany in the evening after the women have taken on Holland

Equestrian
Four of Britain;s five riders get their Paralympic campaigns underway

Goalball
Britain’s men face Lithuania, while the women’s team face China

Table tennis
Sue Gilroy begins her latest attempt to win her first medal, with preliminaries getting underway

Judo
World and European 60kg judo champion Ben Quilter begins his campaign to win a gold medal