2010WWRC Press Release

Canada Comes Full Circle To Face Off Against Commonwealth Rival Great Britain in the Final Day of the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships

Game takes place at the Richmond Oval at 11 a.m. on Sunday 26th September and will be followed by the championship final between Australia and USA at 3 p.m.

Richmond, BC – Tournament organizers at the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships are expecting another sold-out crowd as Commonwealth rivals Canada and Great Britain square off on the final day of competition. The teams, who met in the first match of the tournament, will come full circle in a battle for 5th place at 11 a.m. Sunday morning at the Richmond Olympic Oval.

Though it's not the game they hoped to be in, Canada will play the British squad after a heartbreaking last-second loss to the USA knocked them out of medal contention. When they last met on Tuesday, Canada triumphed over Great Britain 48 to 41. The British have regrouped after struggling earlier in the tournament, and as host nation for the London 2012 Paralympic Games will be planning to establish themselves as a medal contender by giving Canada a run for their money.

"Tomorrow’s game with Great Britain is to be taken very seriously," said Canadian player Mike Whitehead. "We’re all leading up to 2012 so we all have pressure. Tomorrow is a very, very important game."

Canada will be counting on a hometown crowd to get them through a difficult game. "To play in front of a home crowd at Worlds – I will cherish the moment for the rest of my life," he said. "There's been so much love and support. It's been electric."

The gold-medal game of the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships will take place at 3 pm tomorrow at the Richmond Olympic Oval and will feature the powerhouse squads of USA and Australia. Though the USA are the defending gold medallists, Australia handed them their first defeat in two years this June in a test series in Alabama.

"We’ve got one game left and it’s one of the games we’ve focused on since the very beginning," said American athlete Derrick Helton. "We’ll just stick with the game plan we have been working with for the last six months to a year."

Australian Head Coach Brad Dubberley said that his team is also prepared. "We’re here to win and I’m really confident that we can close this deal," he said.

Japan and Sweden will compete in the bronze medal game. This is the first time in the sport's history that either team has been in a medal game in a major international tournament and fans can expect some speedy, hard-hitting wheelchair rugby action.

Play continues Saturday at the Richmond Olympic Oval at 10:00 a.m. with Canada playing Poland at noon in a game that will decide the cross over for 5th and 6th. Semi-finals begin at 2:00 p.m. All games can be watched at www.sportscanada.tv <http://www.sportscanada.tv> .

Photographs of today's games are available at http://www.2010wwrc.com/media/media-kit. Please credit BC Wheelchair Sports Association (BCWSA)/Kevin Bogetti-Smith.

Flash quotes below.

À diffuser dès réception

Le Canada boucle la boucle et va affronter sa rivale du Commonwealth, la Grande-Bretagne, le dernier jour du Championnat du monde de rugby en fauteuil roulant de 2010

Le match aura lieu à l'anneau olympique de Richmond à 11 h 00 dimanche 26 septembre, et il sera suivi de la finale du tournoi qui opposera l'Australie aux États-Unis à 15 h 00.

Richmond, BC – Les organisateurs du Championnat du monde de rugby en fauteuil roulant de 2010 s'attendent à une autre salle comble alors que le Canada et la Grande-Bretagne, grands rivaux du Commonwealth, s'affronteront lors du dernier jour du Championnat du monde de rugby en fauteuil roulant de 2010. Ces deux formations, qui se dont déjà rencontrées dans le premier match du tournoi, vont donc boucler la boucle, alors qu'elles se disputeront l'attribution des 5e et 6e places dimanche matin à l'anneau
olympique de Richmond.

«Nous allons prendre très au sérieux la partie de demain contre la Grande-Bretagne» précise le joueur canadien Mike Whitehead. «Tout le monde est en préparation des Jeux paralympiques de 2012, donc nous ressentons tous une grosse pression. La partie de demain sera donc très, très importante.»

Les Canadiens compteront sur la foule de leurs supporters pour les aider à réussir ce match, qui s'avère très difficile. Whitehead ajoute : «Disputer ce Championnat du monde à domicile devant une foule partisane ... je me souviendrai toute ma vie de ce moment. Les gens aiment tellement le rugby en fauteuil roulant, et ils nous soutiennent si fort. L'atmosphère est électrisante!»

Le finale du Championnat du monde de rugby en fauteuil roulant de 2010 aura lieu à 15 h 00 demain à l'anneau olympique de Richmond, et elle mettra aux prises les puissantes équipes que sont l'Australie et les États-Unis. Même si les Américains sont champions du monde en titre, les Australiens leur ont infligé leur première défaite en deux ans au mois de juin, lors d'une série de test-matches en Alabama.

«Il ne nous reste qu'une seule partie, et nous nous concentrons dessus depuis le tout début du tournoi» explique l'Américain Derrick Helton. «Nous allons nous contenter d'appliquer à la lettre notre plan de match sur lequel nous travaillons depuis plus de six mois.»

L'entraîneur australien Brad Dubberley pense lui aussi que son équipe est prête : «Nous sommes venus ici pour gagner, et j'ai vraiment confiance que nous pouvons réussir notre pari» assure-t-il.

Le Japon affrontera la Suède dans le match pour l'attribution de la médaille de
bronze. C'est la première fois de l'histoire du rugby en fauteuil roulant que ces deux pays participent à un match pour l'attribution d'une médaille dans un grand tournoi international. Les fans peuvent donc s'attendre à une partie rapide, pleine d'action et très physique.

Vous pouvez visionner des photos des parties d'aujourd'hui à l'adresse suivante : http://www.2010wwrc.com/media/media-kit. Nous remercions la BC Wheelchair Sports Association (BCWSA) et Kevin Bogetti-Smith.

FLASH QUOTES

New Zealand Team player Dan Buckingham (#13): It came down to the wire. It’s pretty hard to get up for games like this. We watched the game with the US and Canada last night and that’s the games we used to be in. It’s pretty devastating for the boys to see how far we’ve dropped off the map. But I think it’s a direct reflection of the time we put in leading up to the tournament. We haven’t travelled, a lot of guys are working, we haven’t trained as much as we used to, and the result shows.

We’re looking to the future now. This tournament has been a big kick up the backside to go to London and redeem ourselves. There’s a lot of talk of that. We’ve got some really exciting young players coming up.

It’s a bittersweet feeling. But in the gut it hurts.

Finland Team player Mauri Vironmaki (#9):
It was a fun and tough game. It was the first time we’ve played New Zeland. They played hard and so did we. We had many tough games here at this tournament and we have learned a lot.

FINLAND vs GERMANY

Germany Team player Nacer Menezia (#13):
We approached this as a normal game. Everyone has a job to do and we went with our normal lines.

Argentina Team player Martin Arregui (#1):
We tried to adjust the mistakes we’ve made in our previous games. We are just learning, so we are doing the best we can. We have learned a lot because we don’t have much competition in Argentina because there are no countries close to us, only Brazil. This is a great opportunity for us to learn and we are taking advantage of this.

It is the best goal for our country to come to a World Cup and to learn and then to go back to our country and develop players and increase our competence.

CAN60 POL 38

Canada Team player Mike Whitehead (#8):
After last night’s loss in the dressing room it was quiet but there was a definite sense of pride. Really a lot of mixed emotions. We all support each other. Regardless of a loss or a win we all take care of each other. We came out fighting. We fought 31 minutes instead of 32.

The coach is just a wonderful man and motivating and this morning he put us in our place quickly. It really made me concentrate and get back on task. He’s doing a great job, and so is the support of CWSA and Own the Podium. We’re very lucky.

To play in front of a home crowd at Worlds – I will cherish the moment for the rest of my life. There was so much love and support. It was electric. Just some of the random things we heard in the crowd, like ‘if you can’t do it nobody can’. It was really exciting and a really proud moment for the sport.

Tomorrow’s game with Great Britain is to be taken very seriously. We’re all leading up to 2012 so we all have pressure. Tomorrow is a very, very important game.

Poland Team player Krzysztof Kapusta (#3):
We saw the game with Canada last night and so we wanted to win the game today. Canada has more pressure because they lost their position in the tournament now, and we are coming from the bottom up. We wanted to show them we can play.

Great Britain vs. Belgium

Great Britain Team player Steve Palmer (#3): Lars Mertens is a very dominant player. We made a point of shutting him down. At times
we were putting three players on him to keep him out of the game. At the moment he is the tournament’s top scorer so obviously the major threat was him. Once we closed him down and tired him out the game got easier and easier for us.

We’ve just got to work on executing better when we play Canada tomorrow.

Belgium Team player Frederic Windey (#10):
It was a very hard game. I don’t know the score. I was just pushing. We had several plans but they were too good for us. They have a very good bench.

USA vs. JAPAN

USA Team player Derrick Helton (#13): There was no doubt that we would be in this position. But there was always Canada. It doesn’t matter how strong they are or how weak they look, both teams just go at it. One team will be weak and the other team will be strong and vice versa. Rivalries bring the best out in everybody. They were a speed bump.

Japan started out pretty strong but once we got our rhythm we were fine.

Australia is the very big speed bump. We’ve got one game left and it’s one of the games we’ve focused on since the very beginning. We’ll just stick with the game plan we been working with the last six months to a year.

Japan Team player Koutarou Kishi (#15): It wasn’t the result we expected but I really enjoyed the game. Tomorrow we will definitely get a medal to take back to Japan!

AUS vs. SWEDEN

AustraliaTeam player Andrew Harrison (#15):
We had our roles we had to stick to. Our big thing was working on defense. It paid off in the end.

Tonight we will relax and recover from today and then come in tomorrow with a brand new strategy. We’ll go out there and do our jobs and go from there.

This tournament has gone exactly the way we wanted it to. We’re really comfortable about tomorrow.

Sweden Team player Mikael Norlin (#8): We knew Australia was a strong team. We’re looking forward to the bronze medal game tomorrow. We’ll talk about how to prepare for it.

We set up a goal before coming here and in many ways we have reached our goals so everything else is a bonus.

New Zealand vs. Germany

New Zealand Team Player Chris Lay (#8):
It was a fantastic way to finish a tournament. We’re pretty disappointed with the total outcome but we played the last three games very well. The team kept getting stronger. There is a good feeling amongst the team and we look forward to the future and re-building.

Germany Team Head Coach Joe Soares:
I kind of knew that I was going to get very frustrated this weekend because I inherited a team that has not had much success lately.

I knew what I was getting myself into. The same with Poland when I coached them.

We need more time. We need more training camps, we need to go to a tournament or two and then hopefully we’ll put it all together. We really miss our leader Salih.

Hopefully we’ll be able to clean all this up because if not I’ll lose the rest of my hair.

I tell them that the only thing we can control is effort and I want 100% effort.

Every young team goes through this. As long as we learn and keep moving forward.

When they go well, they go well. When they go bad they really go bad. Old habits are hard to break. Everyone’s going to get video. They’re going to see all their mistakes and hopefully they will learn. I asked them from day one if they are coachable, and they said yes. So if they’re coachable they have to show me that they are coachable.

Finland vs. Argentina

Finland Team player Risto Mort (#5): That was our first ever victory in a World Championships. We continued what we have learned and kept it simple.

Argentina Team Captain Juan Francisco Foa (#5):
It’s been a great tournament. We improved every single game. We don’t have a very large team so we don’t have many subs, so we are exhausted.

We learned a lot. We want now to go back to Argentina and try to put our experience into developing players.

We’re looking forward to being in Toronto in 2015 at the Para Pans.