HOPE VALLEY’S Maddie Thompson has helped ParalympicsGB women’s wheelchair basketball team to one of their best finishes at a Paralympic Games.
Great Britain finished with a flourish by beating Mexico at the North Greenwich Arena on Friday morning to secure seventh place - their best position at a Paralympic Games since Atlanta in 1996.
An ever-present member of the Great Britain team, Thompson, a single-leg amputee, netted four times as the hosts raced away to win 59-37.
The 17-year-old, from Hope, has played in all but one of Great Britain’s matches at the 2012 Games, during this her first appearance at the Paralympics.
After finishing eighth in Beijing and sixth at the 2010 World Championships, GB women had arrived at London 2012 with hopes of making the top five, or even snatching a medal.
A narrow pre-Games practice match defeat to defending champions USA suggested they were in good shape, but Group A proved to be tough as they went down heavily to the Netherlands and Australia.
Victory against Brazil got them back on track but Beijing silver medallists Germany ended their medal hopes earlier this week, and the subsequent defeat to Canada pitted them against Mexico for seventh place.
Coach Garry Peel said: “We are disappointed not to be in the semi-final, and the game for fifth and sixth would have been a bonus.
“Losing the game against Germany, the girls put everything into that, so we had nothing left going into the game against China, so this is consolation.”