The Netherlands’ women and men both received the 2021 European Championship gold medal in an unorthodox fashion with a final that was decided before tip-off, following Great Britain’s decision to withdraw from the tournament early.
Great Britain’s teams both decided to leave the competition early and return home due to three positive COVID cases across their delegations. Consequently, the finals of both the men’s and women’s competitions were decided by Official Wheelchair Basketball Rules – Rule 4, Article 20, “Game lost by Forfeit.” The Netherlands were awarded the games by the score of 20-0 in accordance with the applicable rule and became European Champions.
Spain women won their first-ever European bronze medal after beating Germany 58-40. Both teams were not at full strength – Spain missing two players from their squad and Germany three players – but it was hosts Spain, led by Isabel De Jesus Lopez who scored 20 points and Beatriz Zudaire who finished with 19 points, that claimed the victory and finished with the bronze.
In the men’s competition, Italy and Germany made the decision to not field teams against each other for the bronze medal game, citing concerns due to two further coronavirus cases having been confirmed in other teams within the competition in the 24 hours prior to the scheduled game. As a result, both teams were placed joint fourth for the competition.
IWBF Europe’s statement regarding COVID-19 situation and Final Standings of the tournament. https://www.iwbf-europe.org/news/aWR8rkDTzH2tgx4H5
British Wheelchair Basketball statement regarding Great Britain’s withdrawal. https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/2021/12/statement-about-european-championships-2021-3/
Photo Credit: Steffie Wunderl/SA Images.