In an exciting women’s wheelchair basketball final at the  Santiago 2023 Parapan Am Games, the classic rivalry between the USA and Canada took centre stage, both teams vying for the coveted gold medal. With Canada emerging victorious in their last two encounters, the stakes were high.

The game unfolded with the USA edging the first quarter by a mere 4 points. Despite widening the lead to 8 points, Canada’s resilient 8-0 run brought the score to a tight 22-22 just before halftime. Nevertheless, the USA regained control, and with two crucial baskets from Ixhelt Gonzalez and a buzzer-beater by Lindsay Zurbrugg, secured a six-point lead at halftime—a lead Canada could not overcome in the second half despite their relentless efforts. The USA navigated the pressure with composure, securing the gold and a direct ticket to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Lindsay Zurbrugg led the charge for the USA with a scorching performance, scoring 17 points, while Rose Hollermann (13 points), Courtney Ryan (12 points), and Rebecca Murray (10 points) all contributed double digits. For Canada, Kady Dandeneau and Arinn Young were the top scorers, notching 19 and 15 points, respectively.

Canada, earning the silver medal, still harbours hope for Paris qualification, with a chance to compete in the IWBF Women’s Repechage in Osaka, Japan, come April for the last qualification.

Bronze Medal Game: Argentina vs Brazil.

In the Bronze medal game, Brazil and Argentina battled fiercely. Argentina seized an early lead at 7-2, but Brazil staged a remarkable comeback, embarking on a 12-0 run in the second quarter to seize control. The dominance continued, culminating in a resounding 56-28 victory for Brazil.

Perla Assuncao led the scoring with 18 points, complemented by a triple-double from Vileide Almeida, who recorded 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Maria Pallares top-scored for Argentina with 12 points.

Photo Credit: Sebastian Nanco/ Parapanamericanos Stgo 2023 via Photosport