It was third time lucky for Great Britain men’s team, as they won the gold for the first time at an official World Championships after they defeated Paralympic Gold medallists USA in the final 79-62, in the final of the 2018 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships.
This was the third time that the USA and Great Britain had met in the final of the World’s, back in 1994 and 2002, both times USA coming out on top. This time it was Great Britain that took their revenge and overturned the undefeated USA team in Hamburg, Germany.
There was nothing between the teams in the first half, as Great Britain held a slender five-point lead going into the break. In the second half the momentum stuck with Great Britain, and USA’s Head Coach, Ron Lykins searched for a rotation to match up with GB as they extended their lead in the third quarter, but it was to no avail and Great Britain grew with confidence and secured the victory by 17 points.
Great Britain Head Coach, Haj Bhania, said, “We’ve been waiting a long time for this. It is a dream come true. We know that the USA has a fantastic team and are always hard to overcome, but our boys believed in themselves. We are World Champions for the first time ever and will certainly celebrate this.”
It was a battle of the Asia Oceania Zone in the bronze medal game as Australia Rollers and Iran battled it out for the honours. Iran pushed the Australian’s all the way, but a 25-1 run by the Rollers at the start of the second half, saw the Rollers defeat Iran 68-57 to claim the third spot at the World Championships. However, despite the loss it was still a successful tournament for the Iranians as they finished in their highest ever place at a World Championships.
Australia Head Coach, Craig Friday, said, “This game was a great reward for the work that’s behind us. We were disappointed in Rio and wanted to get back into the top 4 in the world, but the bronze medal was also a reward for the effort we put into the preparation. We know that there is still much to do to get even better, and we are looking forward to the future. “
Spain finished their World Championships campaign on a high, with a 79-52 win over European rivals, Poland, to finish in 5th place. A stunning first quarter by the Spanish team saw them open up a 28-point advantage in the first half. A deficit that was always going to be too much to draw back by Poland despite their best efforts.
Spain’s Head Coach, Oscar Trigo Diez, said, “In the end we won. That was extremely important to us as it gives a good feeling at the end of the tournament. We wanted to defend strongly and that was the most important thing for us. We are very happy to reach fifth place. “
For all results and more information click here.
Photos and quotes courtesy of Rollstuhlbasketball WM 2018 Hamburg – MSSP Michael Schwartz / Uli Gasper / Steffi Wunderl.