Sport

Steph Talbot ready to step up for Capitals as Olympics draw closer

Canberra Capitals youngster Stephanie Talbot is probably sick of the sight of the inside of a plane.

But the 21-year-old says playing on the Olympic court at Rio has given her motivation to dig deep for the back end of the WNBL season as the Caps search for a breakthrough win.

Steph Talbot will line up for the Canberra Capitals in Queensland this weekend after returning from a Rio Olympic test event.
Steph Talbot will line up for the Canberra Capitals in Queensland this weekend after returning from a Rio Olympic test event.  Photo: Jay Cronan

Talbot and fellow Capital Abby Bishop arrived home from a test event in Brazil this week but face a gruelling Queensland double-header against South-East Queensland Stars and Townsville Fire this weekend.

The Australian Opals small forward spot boasts great depth and Talbot said getting a taste of the Olympic facilities will spur her on, despite the Capitals being still winless after 17 games.

"That bit of a feel for it [Olympics] gives you the motivation to come back, keep getting better and improve for the next camp," she said.

"Where we played was where we'll play our finals if we go that far, it was definitely good to play on the main court in front of the Brazilian fans and see what it's like. We've seen the [athlete's] village and everything as well, it's definitely a benefit."

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Although jet lag will be an issue, Talbot said the one-week break from the WNBL has refreshed her mentally as the Capitals try to spring an upset up north.

Saturday night's clash against the Stars will be the first time Capitals centre DeNesha Stallworth will play her old side since her mid-season departure.

Stars coach Shane Heal criticised her publicly after she was released, claiming she reacted badly when taken out of the starting line-up and wasn't aiming up defensively.

Stallworth has been one of Canberra's best in recent games and coach Carrie Graf doesn't expect that history to affect her.

"Any time a player comes up against a former team, there's always that bit of extra edge to play hard," Graf said.

"She's been good competing on the inside, she's getting better and better the more games she plays. It's certainly not going to be an easy road trip for us, we'll focus on the SEQ game and see if we can shake that one up."

WNBL

Saturday, 8pm: South East Queensland Stars v Canberra Capitals at Logan Metro

Sunday, 4pm: Townsville Fire v Canberra Capitals at Townsville.