Rollers draw tough group for World Championships

Rollers draw tough group for World Championships

The Australian Rollers will face European trio Germany, Sweden and Italy in their group, following the official draw for the 2014 IWBF Men’s Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in South Korea.

The defending IWBF World Champions, the Rollers have been handed no favours, drawing three challenging European opponents as they look to repeat the success of 2010 come July.

Australian Rollers Head Coach Ben Ettridge said while some have dubbed their pool the “Group of Death”, he sees it as a great challenge for his team.

“Many observers have commented that this is the toughest pool of the four with Germany, Sweden and Italy – there’s very little margin for error in the group stages,” Ettridge said.

“Germany and Sweden are on the rise in Europe, with the German team was one of the surprise packets at the 2012 London Paralympics.

“The Swedish team are made up primarily of their Under 23 team – which has experienced great success at the past two IWBF Under 23 World Championships - and they all play together in the Swedish national league.

“Italy is a perennially tough matchup for us.”

The Rollers enter the World Championships as the premier team in the region after qualifying for South Korea courtesy of victory in the 2013 IWBF Asia-Oceania Zone Championships.

It has been a decade of domination for the Australian Rollers since they claimed the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games, with the team finishing on the podium in each of their past five major international tournaments.

The Paralympics have brought more success with gold at Beijing in 2008 and silver at the London Games in 2012. Additionally, there has been success at the IWBF World Championships, with the team claiming bronze in 2006 and the coveted gold in 2010 in Birmingham.

The 2014 IWBF Men’s Wheelchair Basketball World Championships will be played in Incheon, South Korea from 3-15 July. The full fixture for the competition is expected to be announced in the coming months.

For all the latest news and updates from the Australian Rollers on their road to the World Championships be sure to visit the BA website.

2014 IWBF Men’s Wheelchair Basketball World Championships Draw

Group A

1.   Great Britain

2.   Mexico

3.   Korea

4.   Argentina

Group B

1.   The Netherlands

2.   Spain

3.   Iran

4.   Japan

Group C

1.   Turkey

2.   Algeria

3.   Colombia

4.   USA

Group D

1.   Germany

2.   Sweden

3.   Australia

4.   Italy