Canada Qualifies for the 2018 World Wheelchair Rugby Championship

(Asuncion, Paraguay) Wheelchair Rugby Canada have secured qualification for next year’s World Championship despite losing 43-54 to the United States in the final of the 2017 IWRF Americas Championship.

They qualify by virtue of finishing in the top two of the tournament.

Team Canada started the tournament in a dominant fashion, winning their first four matches against Chile (64-25) Paraguay (65-18), Columbia (58-41) and Brazil (50-45).

Canada would, however, slip up in their next match against an experienced American team. They would fall behind early and never quite recover, losing 58-27.

Despite this set-back, Canada were still well positioned in the standings and would only need to win their final round-robin match versus Argentina, in order to finish 2nd in the standings and book their place in the semifinals.

Canada would go on to do just that, with a 69-40 rebound win over Argentina. A match in which they controlled from start to end.

By finishing in second place, Team Canada had set-up a rematch with Brazil, who themselves had finished the round-robin in third place.

Canada would come out strong in this match-up, taking a five point lead into halftime. The third and fourth quarters would prove to be more of the same, with Canada not letting up one inch. They would go on to comfortably win 59-46 and book their place in the Gold Medal Final of the 2017 Americas Championship. 

Canada vs. USA - Patrice Dagenais (left) & Matt Debly (center)

In the final, Canada would face their long-time rivals, the United States, who had won all their games until that point.

The match would prove to be much closer than their previous round-robin encounter.

The two teams would trade points back-and-forth for the majority of the 1st half, with very little to separate the sides. The second half was a different affair, however, as USA managed to tighten up their defences and force some decisive turnovers. Canada would fight back, but their efforts would fall short as they would eventually succumb to a 54-43 defeat.

Canada would have to settle for the silver medal this time.

Despite the disappointment of this result, the Canadian team left Paraguay with their heads held high. They had performed well throughout the tournament and had accomplished what they set out to do, which was qualify for next year’s World Championship. 

Click the image below to view photos from the Americas Championship:

About Wheelchair Rugby
Wheelchair Rugby is a team sport for male and female athletes with a mobility-related disability in at least three limbs. It is a unique sport created by athletes with a disability that combines some elements of basketball, handball, and ice hockey. The object of the game is to carry the ball across the opposing team's goal line. Wheelchair rugby, which was originally called Murderball, is known for its high level of physical contact. 

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Ben Parker-Jones
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association
Tel : 613-523-0004
Email : ben@cwsa.ca