Paralympian Ian Sagar will miss next month's European Championships at the start of a two-year break from Great Britain duty as he looks to 'recharge' ahead of Tokyo 2020 and start a family with wife Natalia.

The 35-year-old from Hoyland Common has been a key part of the GB Bulldogs teams which have won the last three European Championships but will not be heading to Tenerife to help the side set a record of four successive wins.

"It's a tactical pause," says the bronze medalist from last year's Rio Paralympics who plays wheelchair basketball professionally in Italy.

"I haven't really had any time off since before London 2012. I am playing in the strongest league in the world against six foot five guys who weigh 150 kilos. My body just needs a rest, especially my shoulders. I want to go to Tokyo so I need to have a little recharge before that. Also, my wife and I are trying for a child so it is a personal decision as well.

"I am sure I will have a twinge of regret when I watch the lads play in the Euros on the internet but I know it is the right decision and I have to look at the bigger picture."

Sagar is also planning to sit out next year's World Championships in Frankfurt but hopes to gain reselection for the 2019 European Championships before the 2020 Paralympics in Japan.

He said: "I am letting some of the younger lads have their chance with GB then taking the gamble that I can get back into the team. I am confident that I will be able to get back in because I have that grit and determination.

"Tokyo is a definite aim for me. I have been to Japan before for a competition and it is one of my favourite places. To experience a Paralympics there would be fantastic. A gold in the Paralympics would be a crowning achievement of my career.

"On my team in Italy, there is an American guy who won gold in Rio and a Spanish guy who won silver. We have a lot of banter and I keep telling them than that next time GB will knock them down a peg.

"I might even carry on for another Olympics after that one. Simon Munn has just retired from GB at 47 so I think I can go into my 40s."

Sagar will return to his hometown of Barnsley next week on one his regular trips to see his parents and friends. He said: "My mum still gets me to show my Paralympic medal off as much as possible. It hasn't lost its shine yet and there are probably a few more people who want to see it. I am a Barnsley lad and I love going back there. It's possible that we might move back there after I retire but we will have to see what happens. I am doing my coaching badges to prepare for life after playing."

Sagar, who missed out on a medal in his first Olympics in London, won two cups and the league in Italy this season, being the top-scorer in each final as he was for GB in Rio last year. He has been in a wheelchair since a motorbike accident in Hoyland when he was 17.