In winning gold at the Asia Oceania Championships the Australian men’s wheelchair basketball team (Rollers) have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Similarly, the Aussie women’s team (Gliders) took silver at the event to book their own spot in Tokyo.
Four NSWIS athletes were a part of the Rollers squad which defeated Korea in the final of the AOZ Championships by 17 points in a dominant display; Luke Pople, Brett Stibners, Michael Auprince and Clarence McCarthy-Grogan.
Captain Shaun Norris said he was ultimately happy to qualify for the Paralympics.
“We started well, and we sat down after the Japan loss and we knew we needed to improve coming up against Iran, which we were ready to play with a 50 point turnaround from a couple of months ago.
“It was nice to keep the success in the AOZ tournament going but now we look ahead to how we can keep improving as a group for Tokyo.”
The Australian Gliders, featuring NSWIS athletes Georgia Munro-Cook and Maryanne Latu, defeated Japan in the semi-final to officially qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, ultimately losing to China in the gold medal match.
Head Coach Stephen Charlton said that the Gliders proved they can compete on an international level.
“Our progress and development has been great,” Charlton said.
“The takeaway from this game was that we lost the second half by only one point and this was the only second half we have lost all week.
“It has been extremely pleasing to know that we have provided opportunities to some very young kids like Teisha Shadwell, who have shown the toughness they have.”