WORLD number one William Fox-Pitt believes Great Britain’s eventers must target personal-best performances in the quest for Olympic gold.

The London 2012 eventing competition begins this morning (10am) with opening dressage tests at Greenwich Park.

Sturminster Newton’s Fox-Pitt, who will contest his fourth Olympic Games, is no stranger to the intensity and pressure that awaits every London medal contender.

But while the likes of Germany, New Zealand and Australia pose considerable threats to British ambitions in the equestrian programme’s first event, post-war Olympic history suggests Fox-Pitt and company will not be far away.

“Gold would be our dream,” Fox-Pitt said. “I think we have got our work cut out – there are some very good teams out there – but Team GB is fit and well.

“If we get there in one piece with the best horses we can ride, we’ve got a good chance. But things have to go our way, of course they have to.

“We need to put in our personal best performances and give the Germans, the Kiwis and the French a run for their money.”

* Poole volleyball star Lucy Wicks will be aiming to help Great Britain get their Olympic bid off to a winning start this afternoon.

Wicks, a former Wessex player, is the vice-captain of Team GB and will appear on court at Earls Court when the hosts take on Russia in the opening pool match at 2.45pm.

Fellow former Wessex star Dan Hunter, meanwhile, will line up for Great Britain’s men tomorrow when they face Bulgaria (9.30am).

And Poole’s Zara Dampney will be alongside playing partner Shauna Mullin tomorrow when Great Britain’s women start their beach volleyball campaign on Horse Guards Parade against Canada (5.30pm).

Elsewhere, Poole-born John Pearce will be in action in the men’s handball at 7.30pm tomorrow.