There were big wins for Italy, Great Britain and Germany on the first day of the competition in the men’s tournament. In a team performance with 5 players hitting double points, Italy saw off newly-promoted Austria, 82-28. Reigning World Champions Great Britain proved too much for Israel to stick with and despite a strong start from the Israeli’s winning the first quarter by 1, Great Britain showed the depth from the bench to dominate the remaining three quarters and break the 100 mark to win 103-46. Germany men also eased their way into the competition with an 87-19 victory over Lithuania.
In the other matchups of day one, the Netherlands defeated Turkey, 63-55, and Poland got off to winning ways beating Switzerland, 69-54. It was capped off with an exhilarating match up between hosts Spain and France which went right down to the wire, the hosts sealing the win by just 3 points, 64-61.
The women’s competition got underway on Sunday (5 December). Great Britain came out with a vengeance after a disappointing result in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games earlier this year to claim a resounding win 85-16 over France. The Netherlands continued to demonstrate why they are Paralympic and World Champions with a clinical performance over Germany, 63-35 and Spain opened with an impressive 80-11 against Turkey.
In the men’s competition, Poland claimed their second win with a 40-point victory over Lithuania, 81-41. Turkey bounced back from their loss against the Netherlands on the opening day to defeat Austria, 73-41.
Despite a close first half in the contest in the Switzerland and Spain game, it was Spain who had the stronger second half to finish 76-48 up and go 2-0. Great Britain and Germany also maintained their unbeaten record with wins over the Netherlands (69-45) and France (69-55), respectively.
The final game of the second day was a low scoring physical encounter between Italy and Israel, and it was Italy that muscled out Israel to claim their second win of the tournament, 64-48.
The competition which features 12 men and 6 women’s teams is the qualification tournament for the 2022 World Championships in Dubai next year, and the top five placed men’s teams and four women’s teams will qualify.
Images provided by Steffie Wunderl Photography & SA Images