WORCESTER’S Sophie Carrigill believes Great Britain’s winning mentality can only have a positive impact on their wheelchair basketball medal hopes in Rio.

The 22-year-old is one of seven new faces in the squad for the Paralympics having been inspired at London 2012.

Most of those newbies, though, bring with them success at age-grade level having won the Under 25 World Championships in Beijing last year.

And it is their taste for success that University of Worcester student Carrigill believes will help her side outperform their current world ranking of fifth and return with a medal.

“We have seven new girls at these Paralympic Games and I think we are the best team we’ve ever been,” she said.

“We won the Under 25 World Championships and for a lot of the girls to come through to this squad and bring a winning mentality is great for us.

“In terms of expectations, I think we are in the best place possible but that all depends on how we play and compete on the day.

“I think we are in the right mind frame now, working towards reaching a semi-final and giving ourselves a chance of a medal.

“Being up there and able to compete at that level is crucial and we do that with the top teams in the world.

“We are heading in fifth in the world and have just gone from success to success and really grown from London.

“The Paralympics is so competitive, though, and anything can happen on the day so we are just looking to perform.

“I think the USA, Germany and the Netherlands are the top teams in Rio but we can be world-beaters if we put our mind to it.”

Part of a Paralympic inspiration programme four years ago in London, Carrigill, who hails from Leeds, was enthralled by the Games and even got the chance to carry the Paralympic torch.

And now in 2016, as co-captain, Carrigill believes she can motivate her team, who all train at the University of Worcester Arena, to produce their best form.

“I carried the torch for London 2012 and it was an amazing experience just to get a taste of what it would be like to be a part of something like this,” she added.

“Up until that point, I didn’t think playing for GB was a possibility for me and I didn’t think it was the route I would go down.

“I think I am a fair captain. The girls are great, so there is never any issue. Helen Freeman and I are joint captains and we have a great relationship with the team.

“I like to keep it positive and motivate them to get their best performance out there.”

Tomorrow, GB start the wheelchair basketball off against Canada in Group A and the men, who also train in Worcester, begin their Group B programme against Algeria.

You can help #Supercharge ParalympicsGB to Rio 2016 and beyond. Show your support for the team and find out more at paralympics.org.uk/supercharge.