Photo: Lars Moeller WWRF
VEJLE, Denmark – Zak Madell scored 28 points Wednesday as Canada earned its first victory at the 2022 Wheelchair Rugby World Championship with a 62-46 win over Colombia.
Canada had opened the tournament with close losses to world No. 4 Australia on Tuesday and top-ranked Japan on Wednesday morning.
“We came out a lot more fired up this game and got the job done,’’ said Madell, of Okotoks, Alta., a three-time Paralympian including Canada’s fifth-place team in Tokyo last year. “These next games are much more important. The tournament is not over for us, and we are not going to dwell on those first two games.”
Madell continued to be Canada’s scoring leader and received a well-deserved rest sitting out the fourth quarter. Veteran Fabien Lavoie of Quebec City, a five-time Paralympian, grabbed the scoring touch in the fourth with 10 of his 12 points.
“We’ve got a very deep bench,” said Madell, who also notched the broadcast’s Performance of the Day presented by Canadian Tire Sports Analytics. “Knowing we can give everybody a bit of a rest we’ll have a lot more energy for the remaining games.”
Canada closes out the preliminary round on Thursday against Brazil (4 a.m. ET) and Denmark (12 p.m. ET).
Japan leads pool B with a perfect 4-0 record, Denmark and Australia have two wins apiece, Canada and Colombia one win each and Brazil is winless. The top-four in each of the two pools advanced to the playoff round.
Canada’s games are available through the Paralympic Super Series, with three matches set to stream live and two games aired via extended highlights shows. They all can be viewed on on Paralympic.ca and the CPC’s Facebook page as well as CBC Sports digital platforms, including the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca, and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices.
Canada’s remaining round-robin schedule is:
Thursday October 13
Canada vs. Brazil – 10 am local time / 4 am ET (game will air via delayed highlights show)
Canada vs. Denmark – 6 pm local time / 12 pm ET – LIVESTREAM
To learn more about the 2022 Wheelchair Rugby World Championship, visit 2022WRWC.com.