Australian wheelchair rugby team wins gold at London Paralympics

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

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.


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