Host team makes first appearance at an international wheelchair rugby competition
The largest-ever International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) Americas Championship was held in Asuncion, Paraguay, between 3 and 9 September, with seven teams competing.
Apart from the host team, which made its first appearance at an international wheelchair rugby competition, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia and the USA also participated in the continental event, which stands at No. 47 in the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Top 50 Moments of 2017.
World No.2 USA went undefeated throughout the tournament before beating World No.4 Canada 54-43 in the final to claim gold. Before that, the defending champions had beaten Paraguay 63-14, Brazil 61-43, Chile 62-21, Colombia 57-27, Canada 58-27 and Colombia again in the semi-finals 66-23.
In addition, both finalists qualified for the IWRF 2018 World Championship, set to take place at the Sydney Olympic Park Complex in Australia from 4-10 August.
Canada had prevailed the last two times the arch-rivals had faced-off at a major international competition, first in the 2014 World Championship semi-finals and then in the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games final.
The bronze medal went to World No.19 Brazil, who achieved a 48-42 victory over World No. 18 Colombia. World No.20 Argentina ended fifth following a 56-36 triumph over No.24 Chile, while Paraguay ended last.
USA’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Josh Wheeler was chosen Most Valuable Player (MVP).
The event was organised by the IWRF together with the National Sport Secretariat and Paraguayan Olympic Committee, and the sponsoring of Maximus Project.
The full rundown of the Top 50 Moments will continue until 31 December.