Belfast Telegraph

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Winning start for Britain

Great Britain made a winning start as they claimed victory over Sweden in the first match of the London International Invitational Wheelchair Rugby Tournament at the Basketball Arena.

Britain were first up in the Olympic Park and enjoyed a 48-36 victory over Sweden, who are world-ranked two places above their hosts in fourth.

GB led 11-9 after the first of the four periods and their lead was never threatened thereafter. Aaron Phipps top-scored for Britain with 24 points while Tobias Sandberg led the way for Sweden with 11.

Australia then edged Canada 56-52 in the second game.

The world's second-ranked team were 26-25 down at the halfway point before a surge of 17 points in the third period guided them to victory.

Australia then returned in the afternoon to power to a 65-48 win over Sweden.

Also known as 'Murderball', wheelchair rugby is a relatively new sport having been invented in 1977 by a group of Canadian quadriplegic athletes who were looking for an alternative to wheelchair basketball.

Wheelchair rugby first appeared in the Paralympic Games at Atlanta in 1996, when it featured as a demonstration sport and it became a full medal Incorporating elements of basketball, handball and ice hockey, it is an intense, fast-paced sport.

Each team has 12 players with four allowed on court at any one time, each competitor assigned a point value (0.5 to 3.5) based on their functional ability.

The total on-court value for each team of four cannot exceed eight.


From Belfast Telegraph