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September 20, 2013

Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nations Series begins in Sydney

Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nations Series begins in Sydney

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Friday, September 20, 2013

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Cathedral Square, Sydney, Australia — Wikinews attended the Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nations Series in Cathedral Square, Sydney, ongoing from Wednesday. This is the first time an international wheelchair rugby event has been held outdoors, and in this arena. Three nations are competing: the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

America’s Josh Wheeler
Image: Jeff Crow Australian Paralympic Committee.

Left to right: Chuck Aoki (US), Andrew Harrison (Aus), Cameron Carr (Aus), Jeremy Brown (US), Ryan Scott (Aus), Derrick Helton (US)
Image: Jeff Crow Australian Paralympic Committee.

Wheelchair Rugby in Cathedral Square, Sydney. Hyde Park and the Centrepoint Tower can be seen in the background.
Image: Hawkeye7.

United States National Wheelchair Rugby team
Image: Hawkeye7.

Justice Crew performs
Image: Hawkeye7.

Premier of New South Wales Barry O’Farrell and CEO of the Australian Paralympic Committee Jason Hellwig
Image: Hawkeye7.

The venue is Cathedral Square, Sydney, which is adjacent to Hyde Park. The Sydney Central Business district is on the other side of the park. An outdoor stadium has been constructed specifically for the tournament, which is believed to be the first time an international wheelchair rugby tournament has been held outdoors. This choice was validated by the fine and warm weather. Free sunscreen was given to the crowd.

The Opening Ceremony was officiated by Australian Paralympic Committee Chief Executive Officer Jason Hellwig. In attendance were the Premier of New South Wales, Barry O’Farrell, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney, Robyn Kemmis, and Paralympic swimmer Matthew Cowdrey. A large crowd, mostly consisting of school groups, was entertained by boy band Justice Crew singing their hit Best Night.

Each team is to play the others two twice, on Wednesday September 18 and Thursday September 19. Finals are to be held on Friday. All three teams are highly ranked internationally. The United States team is ranked number one in the world. It won bronze at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, gold at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, and bronze at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, and is the current world champion. This is its first visit to Australia since the 2000 Summer Paralympics.

The Australian team, known as the Steelers, is ranked second in the world. It won silver in Beijing and gold in London. The team is almost unchanged from the one that won in London. Greg Smith has become the assistant coach.

The first game, held immediately after the Opening Ceremony, was between the United States and Australia. The United States proved the better team, forcing errors and turnovers. Three turnovers in the first quarter were especially costly for the Steelers, who lost 56–43.

The second game was held at 17:30 under lights. The crowd was small, but there were a number of New Zealand fans in the crowd, including a few Maori. Two of the New Zealand players are also Maori. The well-disciplined United States team proved too good for the Wheel Blacks as well, who lost 58–40 in an entertaining contest.

The third game was at 19:30, between Australia and New Zealand. The Australians led the whole game, which was nonetheless entertaining to the last. In the dying seconds of the game, Australia’s Ryley Batt shunted a stalling New Zealand player across the line to force him to score, then threw the ball to team mate Chris Bond, who raced for the line at high speed but was beaten by the buzzer. Australia won 61–48.

The New Zealand team, known as the Wheel Blacks, is ranked tenth in the world. It won gold in Athens.

Highlights of the tournament are scheduled to be shown on Foxtel Sports in Australia on September 28 and 29.



Sources

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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United States wins Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nations Series in Sydney

United States wins Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nations Series in Sydney

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Friday, September 20, 2013

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Cathedral Square, Sydney — The United States won the Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nations Series against Australia and New Zealand at Cathedral Square in Sydney today.

Chuck Aoki (US) and Ryley Batt (Aus)
Image: Jeff Crow Australian Paralympic Committee.

Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nation series- New Zealand Wheel Blacks
Image: Hawkeye7.

Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nation series- Australia v New Zealand
Image: Hawkeye7.

Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nation series – night match – Australia v United States
Image: Hawkeye7.

Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nation series- Australia v New Zealand
Image: Hawkeye7.

Game Four, played at 12:30 yesterday, was played between the New Zealand Wheel Blacks and the Australian Steelers before a lunchtime crowd. Australia scored six straight goals in second quarter, to lead 29-44 at half time, and eventually came out the winners 41-57. The game featured an unusual duel between two 3.5-point players, Australia’s Ryley Batt and New Zealand’s Barney Konerferisi.

In Game Five, played under lights at 17:30 yesterday, the United States proved too good for New Zealand, winning 36-62. Game Six followed immediately after at 19:30. This game, between Australia and United States attracted a sizable and animated crowd that filled the venue. Australia had only beaten the United States once in the last seven years. The Steelers managed to win gold at the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games in London without having to play them.

Australia opened the game with three straight goals, but the United States caught up, and the score was 14-15 at quarter time, after a last second United States score was counted. While the United States frequently rotated its players, the Steelers had Ryley Batt, Chris Bond, Ryan Scott and Nazim Erdem on the court the whole time. Their strong defence caused timeouts and subsequent turnovers. Low-pointer Ryan Scott became an unlikely hero by prompting two turnovers. Australia won 64-53.

Game Seven was the Semi-Final, between Australia and New Zealand, and was played at 12:00 today. The weather was warm and sunny. The New Zealanders performed a Haka, but it did not bring victory. This time Australia rotated its players, and Bond and Batt were on the court together only briefly just before half time, and again in the last four minutes. Australia won handily, 62-45.

The Final game was therefore between the United States and Australia under lights at 17:00 on today. The commentators called it “Friday Night Footy”. Australia once again played Bond, Batt, Erdem and Scott together, and took off to a three-goal lead, but the United States fought back with good defensive plays, tying the score at 14-all at quarter time. The United States scored three goals straight in the second quarter to take a 29-25 lead at half time. Hopes that Australia could repeat its win of the night before were dashed. The United States team had tight discipline and made few mistakes, in the end, winning 58-54.

Medals were presented to the players, coaches and team staff by Greg Hartung, the President of the Australian Paralympic Committee. The players of all three teams voted for the Most Valuable Player of the series, which went to Ryley Batt.

This is believed to be the first time that an international wheelchair rugby tournament has been held outdoors.



Related news

  • “Wheelchair Rugby Tri-Nations Series begins in Sydney” — Wikinews, September 20, 2013

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September 9, 2012

Australian wheelchair rugby team wins gold at paralymics

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

2012 Summer Paralympics

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The Earl of Wessex presents the gold medal to Ryley Batt
Image: User:Hawkeye7.

Smiles all round
Image: User:Hawkeye7.

Wheel change during the game
Image: User:Hawkeye7.

Ryley Batt scores gain
Image: User:Hawkeye7.

The Earl of Wessex and Stephen Fry (with beard)
Image: User:Hawkeye7.

Smiles all round as the team realise they’ve won
Image: User:Hawkeye7.

London, England — The Australia national wheelchair rugby team defeated Canada 66–51 to win Australia’s last gold medal of the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

The Canadian team had no answer to Ryley Batt, who scored 37 goals. Ryley out-paced, out-maneuvered, and out-scored his opponents. Before the game he skylarked by riding his wheelchair on one wheel. The commentator called him “Houdini” for escaping any attempt to restrain him. He did share the ball with the rest of the team. Australia’s Chris Bond contributed 15 goals towards Australia’s scoreline.

By contrast, the Australian defenders held Canada’s Garett Hickling to just seven goals. At one point two Australian defenders trapped him in a corner, unable to move, which he appeared to find very frustrating.

Spectators included the Australian Chef de Mission, Jason Hellwig, and his deputies, Michael Hartung and Kate McLoughlin. The rugby team’s gold medal brought Australia’s count to 32, and the total medals to 85, putting Australia in fifth place.

The team’s gold medals were presented by HRH The Earl of Wessex. The Canadian team received flowers from Stephen Fry.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 7, 2012

Wikinews interviews Duncan Campbell, co-founder of wheelchair rugby

Wikinews interviews Duncan Campbell, co-founder of wheelchair rugby

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Canada takes on Australia in wheelchair rugby
Image: Laura Hale.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Listen to the raw interview

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London, England — On Wednesday, Wikinews interviewed Duncan Campbell, one of the creators of wheelchair rugby.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png You’re Duncan Campbell, and you’re the founder of…

Duncan Campbell: One of the founders of wheelchair rugby.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png And you’re from Canada, eh?

Duncan Campbell: Yes, I’m from Canada, eh! (laughter)

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png Winnipeg?

Duncan Campbell: Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png You cheer for — what’s that NHL team?

Duncan Campbell: I cheer for the Jets!

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png What sort of Canadian are you?

Duncan Campbell: A Winnipeg Jets fan! (laughter)

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png I don’t know anything about ice hockey. I’m a Chicago Blackhawks fan.

Wikinews waves Left.pngHawkeye7Wikinews waves Right.png Twenty five years ago…

Duncan Campbell: Thirty five years ago!

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png They said twenty five in the stadium…

Duncan Campbell: I know better.

Wikinews waves Left.pngHawkeye7Wikinews waves Right.png So it was 1977.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png You look very young.

Duncan Campbell: Thank you. We won’t get into how old I am.

Wikinews waves Left.pngHawkeye7Wikinews waves Right.png So how did you invent the sport?

Duncan Campbell: I’ve told this story so many times. It was a bit of a fluke in a way, but there were five of us. We were all quadriplegic, that were involved in sport, and at that time we had the Canadian games for the physically disabled. So we were all involved in sports like table tennis or racing or swimming. All individual sports. And the only team sport that was available at that time was basketball, wheelchair basketball. But as quadriplegics, with hand dysfunction, a bit of arm dysfunction, if we played, we rode the bench. We’d never get into the big games or anything like that. So we were actually going to lift weights one night, and the volunteer who helped us couldn’t make it. So we went down to the gym and we started throwing things around, and we tried a few things, and we had a volleyball. We kind of thought: “Oh! This is not bad. This is a lot of fun.” And we came up with the idea in a night. Within one night.

Wikinews waves Left.pngHawkeye7Wikinews waves Right.png So all wheelchair rugby players are quadriplegics?

Duncan Campbell: Yes. All wheelchair rugby players have to have a disability of some kind in all four limbs.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png When did the classification system for wheelchair rugby kick in?

Duncan Campbell: It kicked in right away because there was already a classification system in place for wheelchair basketball. We knew basketball had a classification system, and we very consciously wanted to make that all people with disabilities who were quadriplegics got to play. So if you make a classification system where the people with the most disability are worth more on the floor, and you create a system where there are only so many points on the floor, then the people with more disability have to play. And what that does is create strategy. It creates a role.

Wikinews waves Left.pngHawkeye7Wikinews waves Right.png Was that copied off wheelchair basketball?

Duncan Campbell: To some degree, yes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png I assume you’re barracking for Canada. Have they had any classification issues? That made you

Duncan Campbell: You know, I’m not going to… I can’t get into that in a major way in that there’s always classification issues. And if you ask someone from basketball, there’s classification issues. If you ask someone from swimming… There’s always classification issues. The classifiers have the worst job in the world, because nobody’s ever satisfied with what they do. But they do the best they can. They’re smart. They know what they’re doing. If the system needs to change, the athletes will, in some way, encourage it to change.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png Do you think the countries that have better classifiers… as someone with an Australian perspective they’re really good at classification, and don’t get theirs overturned, whereas the Americans by comparison have had a number of classification challenges coming in to these games that they’ve lost. Do you think that having better classifiers makes a team better able to compete at an international level?

Duncan Campbell: What it does is ensures that you practice the right way. Because you know the exact classifications of your players then you’re going to lineups out there that are appropriate and fit the classification. If your classifications are wrong then you may train for six months with a lineup that becomes invalid when that classification. So you want to have good classifiers, and you want to have good classes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png When you started in 1977, I’ve seen pictures of the early wheelchairs. I assume that you were playing in your day chair?

Duncan Campbell: Yes, all the time. And we had no modifications. And day chairs at that time were folding chairs. They were Earjays or Stainless. That’s all the brands there were. The biggest change in the game has been wheelchairs.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png When did you retire?

Duncan Campbell: I never retired. Still play. I play locally. I play in the club level all the time.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png When did you get your first rugby wheelchair?

Duncan Campbell: Jesus, that’s hard for me to even think about. A long time ago. I would say maybe twenty years ago.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png Were you involved in creating a special chair, as Canadians were pushing the boundaries and creating the sport?

Duncan Campbell: To a degree. I think everybody was. Because you wanted the chair that fit you. Because they are all super designed to an individual. Because it allows you to push better, allows you to turn better. Allows you to use your chair in better ways on the court. Like you’ve noticed that the defensive chairs are lower and longer. That’s because the people that are usually in a defensive chair have a higher disability, which means they have less balance. So they sit lower, which means they can use their arms better, and longer so they can put screens out and set ticks for those high point players who are carrying the ball. It’s very much strategic.

Wikinews waves Left.pngHawkeye7Wikinews waves Right.png I’d noticed that in wheelchair basketball the low point player actually gets more court time…

Duncan Campbell: …because that allows the high point player to play. And its the same in this game. Although in this game there’s two ways to go. You can go a high-low lineup, which is potentially two high point players and two very low point players, which is what Australia does right now with Ryley Batt and the new kid Chris Bond. They have two high point players, and two 0.5 point players. It makes a very interesting scenario for, say, the US, who use four mid-point players. In that situation, all four players can carry the ball; in the Australian situation, usually only two of them can carry the ball.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png Because we know you are going soon, the all-important question: can Canada beat the Australians tonight?

Duncan Campbell: Of course they are. (laughter)

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png Because Australians love to gamble, what’s your line on Canada?

Duncan Campbell: It’s not a big line! I’m not putting a big line on it! (laughter) I’d say it’s probably 6–5.

Wikinews waves Left.pngHawkeye7Wikinews waves Right.png Is your colour commentary for the Canadian broadcast?

Duncan Campbell: That was for the IPC. I did the GBUS game this morning. I do the SwedenAustralia game tomorrow at two. And then I’m doing the US–France game on the last day.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png Are you happy with the level of coverage the Canadians are providing your sport?

Duncan Campbell: No.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png Thank you for an honest answer.

Duncan Campbell: Paralympic Sports TV is their own entity. They webcast, but they’re not a Canadian entity. Our Canadian television is doing… can I swear?

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png Yeah! Go ahead!

Duncan Campbell: No! (laughter) They’re only putting on an hour a day. A highlight package, which to me is…

Wikinews waves Left.pngHawkeye7Wikinews waves Right.png It’s better than the US.

Duncan Campbell: Yes, I’ve heard it’s better than the US. At the same time, it’s crap. You have here [in Great Britain], they’ve got it on 18 hours a day, and it’s got good viewership. When are we going to learn in North America that viewership is out there for it? How many times do we have to demonstrate it? We had the Paralympics in Vancouver two years ago, the Winter Paralympics, and we had crappy coverage there. There was an actual outburst demand to put the opening ceremonies on TV because they weren’t going to do it. And they had to do it, because everybody complained. So they did it, but they only did it in BC, in our home province, where they were holding it. The closing ceremonies they broadcast nationally because the demand was so high. But they still haven’t changed their attitudes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png I have one last question: what did it mean for you when they had a Canadian flag bearer who was a wheelchair rugby player?

Duncan Campbell: I recruited that guy. It was fantastic. I recruited him. Found him playing hockey. And that guy has put in so much time and effort into the game. He absolutely deserves it. No better player.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png Thank you!

Wikinews waves Left.pngHawkeye7Wikinews waves Right.png Thank you! Much appreciated.



Sources

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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Wikinews interviews Greg Smith, Australian Paralympic flag bearer

Wikinews interviews Greg Smith, Australian Paralympic flag bearer

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Friday, September 7, 2012

2012 Summer Paralympics

Trafalgar Square, London - London 2012 - countdown clock.jpg

Newest 2012 Paralympic stories

Australian Paralympic Committee}

London, England— Wednesday, following his team’s 64 points to 52 win over Canada, Wikinews interviewed Greg Smith of Australia‘s national wheelchair rugby team.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png You were the flag bearer for Australia. The Canadians had a flag bearer out there. Any special meaning in this game with two flag bearers from your sport?

Greg Smith: I don’t think so. … When we meet Canada it’s always a bit of a fight, and I think that’s what happened tonight.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png Before this game we had an opportunity to talk to [one of the founders] of the sport, Duncan Campbell, and he said the Canadians were supposed to beat you by a few points.

Greg Smith: Did he? You better find the founder of the game and tell him that they still have a bit of work to do there.

Wikinews waves Left.pngHawkeye7Wikinews waves Right.png You’ve already got [three] Paralympic gold medals, and yet you switched to wheelchair rugby. Why was that?

Greg Smith: Yeah. I’d had a good time with racing. I’d achieved the things I wanted to achieve. I had some time off. Wheelchair rugby came along and I started to play recreationally. The competitive juices got flowing again and here we are.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png You guys think you have a serious shot at the medals?

Greg Smith:Look, if we can do the things we’ve been training on, and the things we have to work on, we’ve got just as much of a shot as everybody else. We’ll just keep doing it process by process.

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png You played a great game.

Greg Smith: Thank you.



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September 6, 2012

Wheelchair rugby gets underway at London Paralympics

Wheelchair rugby gets underway at London Paralympics

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 Summer Paralympics

Trafalgar Square, London - London 2012 - countdown clock.jpg

Newest 2012 Paralympic stories
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  • 3 January 2014: Wikinews interviews Australian wheelchair basketball player Tina McKenzie
  • 15 August 2013: Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Deborah Font
  • 11 August 2013: Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Marta Gómez

London, England — Wheelchair rugby got underway yesterday at London’s Basketball Arena with four games being played: the United States versus Great Britain, Sweden versus Belgium, Australia versus Canada, and Japan versus France.

Seth McBride of the United States is pursued by Great Britain’s Kylie Grimes
Image: Laura Hale.

Great Britain’s David Anthony and Mike Kerr battle the United States’ Chance Sumner for the ball
Image: Laura Hale.

Andy Cohn gets a wheel change during the game
Image: Laura Hale.

Aaron Phipps takes a tumble while Mike Kerr handles the ball in the back court
Image: Laura Hale.

Great Britain’s Ross Morrison gets a wheel change as the United States’ Jason Rieger looks on
Image: Laura Hale.

The United States’ Nick Springer has a round with Great Britain’s Ross Morrison
Image: Laura Hale.

A member of Team USA gets a wheel change as Great Britain’s players look on
Image: Laura Hale.

Great Britain’s Kylie Grimes got a large cheer from the crowd when she got on the floor for the first time
Image: Laura Hale.

Will Groulx prepares to get an assist up while Great Britain’s Jonathan Coggan stays nearbye
Image: Laura Hale.

Team USA fans support their team
Image: Laura Hale.

Both teams shake hands after the game
Image: Laura Hale.

Before a full house at a game that was the first one to sell out in the lead up to the start of the London Paralympics, the United States national wheelchair rugby team defeated Great Britain national wheelchair rugby team by a score of 56–44. While the game got off to a slow start for the United States, once the team found its rhythm, they dominated the home team and appeared to score at will. Despite this, the crowd supported their side, even when they were down by eight points. When the United States bench started a chant of U-S-A! U-S-A!, the crowd soon drowned them out with a chant of Team G-B! Team G-B!

The United States came to London as defending gold medalists and ranked first in the world. Coming into the game, the team’s assistant coach James Mate told the media regarding this game, “To be truthful we have played the home team a couple of times, but you have to play the game in that moment and it can give the hosts the edge. […] In Beijing, Great Britain gave us our best game, and the semifinal was a three-goal game. We had something similar in June (at the Canada Cup). […] They (Great Britain) play some like us and some like Canada, and are one of the teams that have a lot of good players, so we can’t focus on just one player, but on the team as a whole.”

Ranked sixth in the world, Great Britain came to London as the home town favorites. Their roster included club players from across the country including David Anthony who plays for the Cardiff Pirates, Andy Barrow, Bulbul Hussain and Steve Brown who play for the Kent Crusaders, Jonathan Coggan and Mandip Sehmi who play for the Stoke Mandeville Storm, Mike Kerr who plays for the North West Bulls, Myles Pearson who plays for the West Coast Crash, and the team’s only female player Kylie Grimes who plays for the London Wheelchair Rugby Club with teammate Ross Morrison.

Before the game, first time Paralympian Great Britain wheelchair rugby player Mike Kerr told the media regarding his squad selection, “I felt I’d never been given a chance to get noticed, so I got myself some court time at big tournaments like Knock and Roll in 2010 (a USA national tournament) and Bernd Best (the biggest wheelchair rugby tournament in the world, held in Germany). I played well and I think people finally took notice.” Regarding the wait to play, Kerr said, “It’s hard. I hate waiting around. I’m here to do a job and the sooner I get started the better. But it’s been a great experience so far. The crowd and support have been amazing. […] I’m really confident. We took confidence from how we played against them at the Canada Cup (in June). If we play our game we can shock them.”

The United States meets Japan while Great Britain meets France later today in their second games in pool play.

Sweden takes the floor in their game against Belgium
Image: Laura Hale.

Sweden and Belgium shakes hands before the start of their game
Image: Laura Hale.

In the second wheelchair rugby match of the London Paralympics, Sweden defeated Belgium by a score of 52–42.

Sweden, the current European champions, came to London with a relatively new coach, who only took over the side in late 2011. Belgium’s coach Bob Vanacker also plays on the team. He and Peter Genyn and Lars Mertens play their club wheelchair rugby in the United States.

The Australian team listens to their national anthem before the start of their game against Canada
Image: Laura Hale.

An Australian player throws the ball as teammate Ryley Batt and a Canadian player race down the court
Image: Laura Hale.

Ryley Batt and a Canadian player collide
Image: Laura Hale.

10 Chris Bond, 11 Ryan Scott and teammates during a time out
Image: Laura Hale.

Ryley Batt wheels off as Canadians Patrice Dagenais and and Fabien Lavoie wait for their teammate to get upright
Image: Laura Hale.

A Canadian player gets an assist in getting upright
Image: Laura Hale.

Canadian fans support their team
Image: Laura Hale.

Batt and Chris Bond battle Canada’s Jason Crone and Garrett Hickling for the ball
Image: Laura Hale.

In the first game for both teams since the London Paralympics began, Australia national wheelchair rugby team defeated Canada by a score of 64–52. Australia and Canada both had their flag bearers from the opening ceremonies represented by this sport, Greg Smith for Australia and Garett Hickling for Canada.

Beijing silver medalists Australia came to London ranked second in the world. Their last major competition before the Paralympics was the Canada Cup, where they lost to the United States by a single point. The Australian side included flag-bearer Greg Smith at his fifth games, Nazim Erdem who is at his third Paralympics, Ryley Batt and Ryan Cott who competed at the 2004 and 2008 Games, Cameron Carr who competed at the Beijing Games, Chris Bond, Cody Meakin, Ben Newton, Andrew Harrison, Josh Hose and Jason Lees who made their Paralympic Games debut.

Canada came into their match against Australia as returning bronze medalists. Their roster included Ian Chan who was on the team that finished first at the 2002 World Championships, the former ice hockey player Jason Crone from Owen Sound, Ontario, debut Paralympian from Embrun, Ontario Oarice Dagenais, 2002 World Champion Jared Funk from Manitoba, five time Paralympian Garett Hickling, Trevor Hirschfield who is decribed by the Canadian Paralympic Committee as one of the world’s best low point players, Athens silver medalist and Beijing bronze medalists Fabien Lavoie, eighteen-year-old Zak Madell, University of Arizona alumnist Travis Murao, 2010 World Championships All Star Ten player Patrice Simard, former recreational hockey player David Willsie and Harrow, Ontario native Mike Whitehead.

Australia meets Sweden later today while Canada will take on Belgium.

In the last match of day yesterday, Japan defeated France 65–56. France qualified for the tournament despite the national team only being five years old. Japan came to London having beaten the top ranked United States in this year’s Canada Cup.



Sources

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
Wikinews
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August 30, 2012

Kate Lundy watches Australian women qualify for the women\’s R2-10m air rifle final

Kate Lundy watches Australian women qualify for the women’s R2-10m air rifle final

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2012 Summer Paralympics

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Libby Kosmala at the range.
Image: LauraHale.

London, England — This morning Australia‘s Minister for Sport, Kate Lundy, watched Elizabeth Kosmala and Natalie Smith qualifying for the finals in the women’s R2-10m air pistol SH1 event.

Kosmala finished with a score of 391 out of a possible 400; scoring 99 in her first set of ten shots, and 96, 98 and 98 in the next three sets. A few places down, Smith finished just ahead of her teammate with a combined score of 393, scoring 98, 99, 97 and 98 in her four sets of ten shots.

Alongside the Australians, Lundy saw Cuiping Zhang of China set a Paralympic record of 396, and Thai Wasana Keatjaratkul tie the previous record of 393. Veronika Vadovicova of Slovakia, Yoojeong Lee of South Korea, Yunri Lee also of South Korea, and Manuela Schmermund of Germany qualify for the finals.

Lundy is expected to be in London for the entire Paralympics, and is scheduled to watch athletics, cycling, powerlifting, rowing, swimming, wheelchair rugby, basketball and tennis. Whilst here, she is to obtain feedback from the Australian Paralympic community regarding government support of sport for the disabled.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 21, 2012

Greg Smith named as Australia\’s 2012 Paralympic Games flag-bearer

Greg Smith named as Australia’s 2012 Paralympic Games flag-bearer

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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Greg Smith holds the Australian flag as the national anthem is sung by Men Only Aloud and the Australian flag is raised above Cardiff Castle at the naming of the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team flagbearer.
Image: Australian Paralympic Committee/Tony Naar.

Office portrait of Greg Smith
Image: Australian Paralympic Committee/Australian Sports Commission.

Members of the 2012 Australian Paralympic team in Cardiff Castle at the naming of the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team flagbearer
Image: Australian Paralympic Committee/Tony Naar.

Members of the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team are cheered as they enter Cardiff Castle for the naming of the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team flagbearer
Image: Australian Paralympic Committee/Tony Naar.

Earlier today, at a ceremony in Wales’ Cardiff Castle, the Australian Paralympic Committee announced the selection of wheelchair rugby player Greg Smith as Australian flag-bearer during the opening of the 2012 Summer Paralympics. Over 260 members of Australia’s 305-strong Paralympic team attended the announcement of Smith as flag-bearer.

Multiple gold, silver and bronze medallist, Smith has represented Australia in multiple Paralympic Games in two different sports: 1992, 1996 and 2000 saw him compete in athletics; 2004 and 2008 were the games where he switched to wheelchair rugby. The Australian Paralympic Committee quoted Smith saying of this honor, “I remember in Barcelona in 1992 at my first Games when the flag bearer was announced. I just thought “Wow, that’s something very special”. I could have never imagined that being me one day. I just remember that feeling of how proud you’d be if you were given such an honour.”

Smith joins a list of previous Australian flag bearers including Brendan Burkett in 2000, Louise Sauvage in 2004 and Russell Short in 2008.

Australians can watch the Opening Ceremonies live on the ABC on August 30 at 5:20am Sydney time.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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