(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Sept 14) In front of a thunderous crowd at Carioca Arena 1, Canada’s wheelchair rugby team won 62-48 against host nation Brazil. Playing to cheers and at times boos, Canada maintained composure against the relentless Brazilian team.
“To be lucky enough to play against Brazil here in the first tournament and focus up was great for us,” said co-captain Trevor Hirschfield. “It’s pretty incredible what they’re doing here. They’re filling the seats and you don’t see that at every Paralympic Games.”
Canada built a six-point lead in the first quarter and by halftime was up 33-26. In the third quarter, however, a lineup of Zak Madell, Cody Caldwell, Trevor Hirschfield and Patrice Simard forced a series of turnovers and extended the lead to 15. Every athlete on the roster had a chance to get valuable minutes.
“We were able to execute what we’ve been doing in our training camps and to really use that game to prepare tomorrow for Great Britain,” said Hirschfield. “We know that’s going to be a tough game, so we look at today as a stepping stone to tomorrow.”
Zak Madell finished the game with 38 points. Julio Braz was the top Brazilian scorer, with 20 points.
Tomorrow, Canada plays Great Britain at 12:45. When the two teams last met at the 2016 Canada Cup Wheelchair Rugby Tournament in June, Canada won 46-44. Since then, however, Great Britain has been relentlessly preparing to face Canada.
“We know they’ve had our game circled on the calendar for awhile,” said Hirschfield. “We’ve got to come out focused and prepared and be aggressive. It’s going to go down right to the very end.”
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact: