Rio 2016: Alex Danson sets sights on Olympics gold for GB

Alex Danson
Great Britain women have never won gold at an Olympic Games

Alex Danson believes Great Britain's women have a great chance to win gold at the Olympics in Rio next year.

The Reading forward, 30, says the team enjoyed the best preparation for success in Brazil after being crowned EuroHockey champions in August.

"Winning gold is something I have had my heart set on my whole career," Danson told BBC South Today.

"For as long as I can remember I have looked up to athletes who have won that sort of accolade."

Danson, from Odiham, was a member of the GB team that won bronze at London 2012, but believes they will have an even stronger squad in Rio next year.

They are currently ranked seventh in the world and will face Argentina, Australia, Japan, India and the United States in Pool B.

"It is going to be an absolute spectacle and it will be an incredible hockey tournament.

"The 16 athletes that go will be the fittest, the fastest, the best technically we have ever been," she said.

Danson made her international debut at the age of 16 and has played more than 250 games for England and Team GB.

Her form at the EuroHockey Championships led to her being nominated for the World Player of the Year award, alongside Delfina Merino, Jodie Kenny, Lidewij Welten and Mi-Hyun Park.

"To win it would be a complete and utter shock," she said. "It is a huge honour but the nomination is reflective of the team, I am very proud and it is an early Christmas present."

However, Danson may have to wait to unwrap her other presents on 25 December.

"We are actually training Christmas Day this year," she added. "The last time we trained before London 2012 at Christmas, we all wore Santa hats."