Australian men, women win 2013 Asia-Oceania Wheelchair Basketball Championships
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Bangkok — The Australia men's national wheelchair basketball team, known as the Rollers, and the Australia women's national wheelchair basketball team, known as the Gliders, won gold medals on Friday, the final day of the Asia–Oceania Zone Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Bangkok, Thailand. The eight day championship was opened on November 22.,
Ten countries competed for places at the(IWBF) World Championships next year — ten in the men's: , , , , , , , , and ; and four in the women's: Australia, Japan, China and Thailand. For the Australians, it was a rare opportunity to play teams from neighboring countries. Their efforts to help other teams were appreciated; after one game the Kuwait men led a cheer of "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!" To which the Thai women replied: "Oi! Oi! Oi!"
Both the Australian teams went through the tournament undefeated. The Gliders defeated China in the gold medal game 57–35. The Rollers then took to the court and defeated Korea 63–46. Iran and Japan won the men's and women's bronze medal matches.
This was one of four zone championships. The zones correspond to those of theand : Americas, Europe, Asia–Oceania and Africa. Each zone is guaranteed one place at the World Championships. Under recently-introduced rules, performance at the Paralympic games gains additional spots for the zone, not for the country. Only the home team is guaranteed a place.
The new zone system has already proved controversial, withdefeating in the recent Africa Zone Championships in to grab the sole spot allocated to Africa, and Canada missing out on one of the four men's spots for the Americas zone. In a shock result, these places went to the , , and . , , , , , and the are to round out the championships as the men's teams from the European Zone.
The men's World Championship are to be held in July next year in, , while the women's are to be in , . Maureen Orchard. President and Secretary General of the IWBF told Wikinews the women's competition will in no way be inferior to the men's. The women are to be put up in a five-star hotel, and play at Toronto's . Without their men's team competing, the women's competition is expected to generate considerable interest in Canada. The home team is to be joined by teams from the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, , the United States, , Mexico, and to compete against the winners from the Asia–Oceania Zone.
The sport of wheelchair basketball has great popularity. In London, additional seats at thesold out online within minutes.
- "Americas Qualification Tournaments Ready To Begin" — , July 26, 2013