WINNING gold at the Tokyo Paralympics was the driving force behind Jordanne Whiley’s return to the court.

The wheelchair tennis player, who lives in Steventon, has picked up bronze medals in the women’s doubles with Lucy Shuker in each of the last two Paralympics.

Whiley took time out of the game for the birth of her son, Jackson, in January 2018.

And while there was a big decision to make over whether she would return to the sport afterwards, at the forefront of her mind was some unfinished business for 2020.

“I love it, it’s the whole reason I came back,” she said.

“I feel like I haven’t completed my Paralympic journey – a singles medal is the only thing I don’t have now.

“I’m so excited for Tokyo, everything from the launch, to the kit to just being on the plane – and I even hate flying – so it’s just incredible and it’s something I will really miss once I’m not in the sport any more.”

She added: “In the singles I am really going for gold, I think that’s a realistic target – although I do need to change a few things.

“In the doubles I just really don’t want to get another bronze because I’ve got two already, so I’m looking to just improve on that and make sure I’m in that gold medal match.”

Going into 2016, Whiley believed she was in the best shape to perform and secure two medals but it wasn’t to be.

The trauma of her experience in Rio, when she broke her wrist, impacted the 27-year-old for a long time, but she has now climbed back to fifth in the world rankings.

Whiley acknowledges she wants her opponents to fear her heading into 2020 to show she will go all out for Paralympic glory.

“It would mean everything to be in Tokyo, because when I had Jackson I didn’t know if I was going to come back or not,” she said.

“I didn’t know if my body would allow it because I’ve had so many injuries and also, I didn’t know if I wanted to because I had such a bad time in Rio.

“I was really upset about it for a long time and so to actually get back into that top five and hopefully be going to Tokyo and be up for a medal would just mean even more.

“That’s why it’s so important for me to start 2020 really strong. To show my opponents that I’m back because I think at the moment people are aware of me but not scared of me and I need to change.

“I feel if I’m stronger in the mind I can compete better with them

because I know my tennis is on


l Sainsbury’s is the longest-standing supporter of ParalympicsGB and a champion of inclusive sport for all. Sainsbury’s commitment to helping customers live well for less has been at the heart of what we do since 1869. For more information on Sainsbury’s commitment to inclusive sport visit