Six countries will take part in the U23 Asia Oceania Zone qualifying tournament for the U23 World Championships, which will commence on the 23rd January in Bangkok, Thailand.  The six teams from across the Zone will be competing for three spots at the the U23 World Championships in Toronto this June. The competing teams are: Australia, China, India, Iran, Japan and Thailand.

Traditionally Australia, Iran and Japan have been favourites to win the tournament. However at the last Zone tournament China showed that they are also to be taken as a serious opponent when they defeated Japan in their final pool game. But after a successful Kitakyushu Cup last December,  Japan are expected to continue their strong form in the tournament in hope to guarantee them a place at the U23 World Championships.

The tournament will also be history making as it will be the  first time that a team from India will compete. Although it will be a big step up for the team to compete at this internaional level, they will definitely benefit from the experience and it will give them the chance to keep their programme growing.

Host nation Thailand are less known. Their senior men’s team has made a significant progress over the last few years and they have strongly promoted their U23 programme for this event so they could cause an upset and be a surprise team in the tournament.

The tournament promises to have high level games with many close results. A simple loss of concentration from any team could easily see them eliminated from the medal round and consequently miss the opportunity to go to Canada.

For more information keep up to date via Thailand Wheelchair Basketball Facebook Page

Schedule for the AOZ U23 qualifying tournament 2017