In a thrilling start to the 2023 African Para Games, the wheelchair basketball competition tips off on Monday 4 September 2024. In the first of its kind, this year’s event promises to be the biggest in the history of the Africa Zone, with a record-breaking 10 men’s teams and 7 women’s teams participating. However, as the first games tipped off, the excitement was tinged with a hint of surprise due to last-minute withdrawals by Nigeria and the Central African Republic, leading to significant changes in the competition’s schedule.
The Men’s Competition:
The men’s teams have been divided into two groups for the preliminary phases, setting the stage for intense clashes and fierce rivalries. With Nigeria’s withdrawal, Group A now comprises Ghana, Uganda, Algeria, DR Congo, and Morocco. In Group B, Kenya, Senegal, Egypt, South Africa, and Angola will battle it out.
The sudden alterations to the schedule have forced tournament organizers to reconfigure the knockout stages. The top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals, vying for a chance to secure their spot in the finals.
The Women’s Competition:
Unlike the men’s competition, the women’s wheelchair basketball tournament will follow a round-robin format, with all seven teams competing against each other. The participating countries include Algeria, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, and DR Congo. This format will undoubtedly showcase the diversity of talent and skill present among the women’s teams, setting the stage for thrilling contests and close matches.
Road to the 2024 IWBF Repechage Tournament:
For both the men’s and women’s competitions, there is more at stake than just the African Para Games glory. The team that finishes in first place in each category will earn the coveted opportunity to participate in the 2024 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) Repechage Tournament. This event will serve as a last-chance qualifier for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, offering the winning teams a golden ticket to represent Africa on the world stage.
As the action unfolds on the basketball courts, fans and athletes alike are eagerly awaiting the thrilling matchups, unforgettable moments, and heart-pounding victories that will define the 2023 African Para Games’ wheelchair basketball competition. With the unexpected twists and turns brought about by last-minute withdrawals and a record-breaking number of teams, this year’s tournament promises to be an unforgettable celebration of skill, determination, and the indomitable spirit of para-athletes across the African continent.