Wikinews interviews Amber Merritt Australian Paralympic wheelchair basketballer

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Amber Merritt changing a wheel in the game against Mexico.
Image: Laura Hale.

London, England— Tuesday, following her team's 62–37 win over Mexico in the quarter-finals at the North Greewich Arena, Wikinews interviewed Amber Merrit of the Australian women's national wheelchair basketball team.

In their next match, the Gliders will face the victors from the United States versus Canada, having suffered their first loss of this year's Games to Canada on Sunday night by seven points.

Interview transcript

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png I'm excited to see you in London, because you were so fantastic in that interview.

[Wikinews previously interviewed Merrit, and teammates in July. —Ed.]
Amber Merrit: Thank you.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Which state are you from?

AM: I'm from WA. [Western Australia —Ed.]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You wheel change! What was wrong with your wheel?

AM: I smashed out three spokes. Someone hit me, and I lost three spokes in my chair.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png was that because you were playing really aggressively against Mexico?

AM: Yeah, or they were playing really aggressive against us.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Watching that game it didn't seem that they were playing that aggressive, in terms of they came in with set pieces; they weren't doing the full-court press; they didn't seem prepared for your offensive and defensive tenacity. Wikinews waves Left.pngHawkeye7Wikinews waves Right.png You kept on all holding them out, where they weren't even getting across the centre line

AM: I think we have a really physical style of basketball where we're going to press, and when we press we try to stop chairs and make sure they don't get over that halfway line. They're going to come out and play as hard as they can against us and sometimes there is that odd mishap where they might smash a few spokes cause they hit us. It happens.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You tipped a lot in previous games. You haven't tipped so much in this series.

AM: No, I've managed to keep my balance this time. Or maybe they haven't hit me hard enough to put me down on the floor.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Part of the appeal of wheelchair basketball, and I feel guilty admitting it, it watching you guys tip.

AM: And fall out. It's embarrassing but I like it.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You've got your next game coming up, which is going to be against the winner of the United States or Canada later today

AM: We're not 100% sure yet who that's going to be.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Looking forward to meeting them?

AM: Yeah! Looking forward to coming up against them.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Who would you prefer?

AM: I don't know if I have a preference, to be honest. Whoever its going to be, we're still going to go out there and play as hard as we can and take it to them as a team.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you think you've been adequately prepared coming in to this, with your tournament in Sydney, your tournament in the Netherlands?

AM: Yeah, I think we've come in very well prepared for this tournament. We've been together for a while now as a team. Of course we had the Gliders and Rollers world challenge. We also went to Arnheim in the Netherlands for a pre-tournament, and we've trained together in Cardiff. And then after Cardiff we came in to London; so we've had that time together as a team and we're doing really well.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Does that give you an advantage over other teams?

AM: I'm not sure, because I don't know what other teams have been doing behind the scenes as their training.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thank you very much.

AM: No worries!


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