Come on Shona! McCallin gunning for Olympic gold in tonight’s hockey final
Shona McCallin will be gunning for Olympic gold tonight.
The 24-year-old will be hoping to help Great Britain’s women’s hockey team topple old foes the Netherlands in their Rio 2016 final.
McCallin, a former KGGS student, helped Team GB book their place in the gold medal match as they beat New Zealand 3-0 in their semi-final clash on Wednesday.
Alex Danson scored twice and Helen Richardson-Walsh was also on target in a display which owed as much to a stoic defence as it did clinical finishing.
McCallin is one of the sport’s most promising rising stars and has featured in every single one of Great Britain’s seven matches so far, and the side can boast a 100 per cent record.
Team GB topped Group B with five consecutive victories, beating Australia (2-1), India (3-0), Argentina (3-2), Japan (2-0) and the USA (2-1).
This was followed by Monday night’s 3-1 success against Spain in their quarter-final clash and that historic victory over the Black Sticks.
This is the first time Great Britain’s women have ever reached an Olympic hockey final.
GB’s only previous two podium finishes in this event were bronzes in 1992 and four years ago at London 2012.
The Netherlands are the defending Olympic champions after beating Argentina inthe previous final.
McCallin was given a warm send off to Brazil by the residents of her home village of Dry Doddington as they packed the green to wave Union Flags and send her a good-luck video message.
Her grandmother Eva Nullis - a former hockey player herself, who first got to see McCallin play on the international stage when she won gold with England in last year’s European Championship in London - led the messages of support, which also featured neighbours, friends, former schoolmates and babysitters.
Youngsters at McCallin’s former primary school, Long Bennington, also sent her messages of support.
And after helping guarantee at least silver in Britain’s most successful-ever overseas Olympics, she can also be expecting a hero’s welcome on her return.
McCallin is one of four Lincolnshire competitors in the squad.
Lincoln’s Georgie Twigg and Boston-born pair Crista Cullen and Hannah Macleod complete the Yellowbelly quartet.
Tonight’s match will be screened live on BBC One.
The contest is scheduled to begin at 9pm.