The schedule for Day 2 of the wheelchair basketball competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games also included 4 women’s games. And it was a successful day for the teams from Asia who built upon their opening game victories to send a statement towards the rest of the wheelchair basketball world as Japan beat Great Britain (58-48) and China upset the current World Champion Netherlands (45-38). 

In Group A, we saw Germany beating Australia, 77-58, in their first appearance at these Games. Germany’s Mareike Miller was especially motivated after the opening ceremony – where she had the honour to bear Germany’s flag – which translated to a 30 points game. That said, she had to share the spotlight with Australia’s Amber Merritt netting a total of 26 points. 

Miller added:

“It was a really good win for us. We started strong with a lot of energy, despite the early game. That was our goal to come out with a lot of energy. We played some really good defence in the first half which allowed us to get some easy buckets.

The second game of this group turned out to be a pleasant surprise for the Games’ host nation, Japan. After a balanced first quarter (12-12), Japan geared up allowing them to start the fourth quarter with a 13 point lead. Despite all its effort GB did not manage to equal the score, resulting in a surprise 54-48 victory for Japan. In a strong team performance, it was Ikumi Fujii who led the team in scoring (14 points). 

Captain of Japan, Fujii, said:

“We just concentrated on what we could do. We had a good game with Australia yesterday (a 73-47 win), so we believed we could do it again today too.”

Meanwhile, in Group B, the USA clinched an unthreatened 68-34 victory against Spain. USA’s overall dominance was personified through 20 points by Rose Hollermann and 18 points by Courtney Ryan

The evening’s game delivered the second Asian surprise victory of the day. During a game dominated by defence, China managed to contain Netherland’s scoring abilities. At the end of the game, the (low) score stood at 45-38 in favour of China, with Suiling Lin contributing 17 points.

For full wheelchair basketball schedule and results click here.

Pictures: Shingo Ito X-1