- Game Night
Natalie Burton has returned to Perth from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and is looking to use Australia’s elimination as motivation for the upcoming WNBL season.
The Australian women’s basketball team landed in Rio with high expectations, but a shock loss to Serbia in the quarter-finals sent the previously undefeated Aussies home without a medal.
“That one hurt a lot,” said Burton of the defeat that ended Australia’s Olympic campaign.
“We were a bit lost; I felt like I didn’t know what to do with myself.”
“Everyone had plans to make it all the way, and when that doesn’t happen you have to re-evaluate everything.”
Burton, who started every game for Australia throughout the Olympics, was keen to put the national team’s defeat behind her, and to use the experience as motivation.
“As soon as we lost I was looking at Japan (the 2020 Olympic Games); wanting to make it and wanting redemption.”
“I’m going to remember that feeling forever, and every time I’m working towards the next goal I’ll remind myself of that.”
As integral members of last season’s Perth Lynx team that made the WNBL Grand Final, Burton and fellow Olympian Tessa Lavey were quick to shift focus towards the upcoming WNBL season.
“Straight away, I was like ‘I want to win a championship’.”
“I said to Tessa, we lost the Grand Final, we lost in the Olympics – it’s time to win a championship.”
“I need to use what I went through to fuel that desire to win.”
“I want to win; that’s why we play. “
“Tessa and I both need it and hopefully we can influence the other girls on the team.”
The Perth Lynx have begun pre-season training and open the 2016/17 WNBL season on Friday 7 October on the road against the Sydney Flames.