Following the conclusion of the 2019 Women’s European Championship in Rotterdam, the four teams are the first to have secured their right to play in the women’s wheelchair basketball competition at the Paralympic Games next year.
The Netherlands and Germany, who finished with gold and bronze respectively at the European Championship, have both been present in the women’s wheelchair basketball competition at every Paralympic Games since Seoul 1988. Great Britain, who secured a historic European silver medal for themselves, have only missed out on one Paralympic Games which was Barcelona in 1992.
History was also made by Spain as they defeated France and Turkey to finish in the final four of a Europeans for the first time ever and qualify in their own right to a Paralympic Games, something they have never achieved before. Their only other appearance was in the Barcelona 1992 Paralympics where they qualified as hosts of the games.
Spanish Player Vicky Alonso, described how the team felt on qualifying, saying:
“It still seems unreal to have finally qualified for Tokyo 2020, the sensation is like being on a cloud.
“Over the years we have sung a song that has a chorus that says ‘When a dream dies it is because it has become real’ Our dream has died and we are so happy.”
Photo credit – Steffie Wunderl Fotografie / Eike Michler