Canada’s Wheelchair Rugby Team Ranked Number One For the First Time Since 2002

(London, UK-Oct. 16th, 2015) - Team Canada defeated the USA today at the 2015 BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge to earn its first world number-one ranking in 13 years. This is the second time this year that Canada has bested its rival to win a gold medal. At the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games, Canada qualified for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games by beating the USA in the final minutes of the match.

“Our win at the Parapan Am Games reminded us exactly what it feels like to step up when it counts and get that gold medal around our necks,” said Head Coach Kevin Orr after the game. “We took that confidence to London with us and it’s paid off. The team is just getting better and better.”

The USA was riding its own wave of confidence after beating number one-ranked Australia in the semi-finals. Canada, however, started off strong and, despite a few lapses, controlled the lead for the majority of the game. Zak Madell (Okotoks, AB) and Trevor Hirschfield (Vancouver, BC) provided both leadership and court awareness to help seal the victory. Hirschfield, who was recently named the International Paralympic Committee’s Athlete of the Month, was responsible for several key turnovers.

“Having a low-point player who can steal balls from high-point players is worth its weight in gold in this sport,” said Orr. “Trevor is playing absolutely incredible wheelchair rugby right now.”

Next, Canada will focus on the 2016 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament, which will take place in Richmond, BC in June.  

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