Canada Secures Paris Ticket with Silver at Wheelchair Rugby Qualification Tournament

Canadian Paralympic Committee

March 25, 2024

The Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Team has won the silver medal after a nail-biting overtime loss against Australia at the Paris Qualification Tournament in New Zealand.

Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Team.

In a thrilling showcase of grit and determination, the Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Team has secured the side’s ticket to the Paris 2024 Paralympics by clinching the silver medal at the Paris Qualification Tournament held in Wellington, New Zealand from March 20 to 24, 2024.

After defeating Brazil (57-39), Netherlands (55-35) and the hosts New Zealand (54-39) in pool play, the Canadian Team defeated Germany (58-41) in the semi-finals to secure the nation’s top three position needed for Paris qualification, before facing Australia for gold.

In the gold medal match, Canada, the fifth ranked nation in the world, competed valiantly against the second-ranked powerhouse, Australia, in a nail-biting showdown. The match was a rollercoaster of emotions, as both teams fought tooth and nail for every point.

Led by three-time Paralympian Zak Madell, Canada surged in the final quarter.  After the nation trailed the entire match until two minutes to go in regulation, Madell’s efforts helped tie the match 45-all to force overtime. In the extra period, Australia held on for a nail-biting one-point victory, 49-48, leaving Canada to take home the silver medal and providing motivation to go one better in Paris.



Qualifying for the Paris 2024 Paralympics continues Canada’s streak of competing at every Paralympics since the sport debuted as a demonstration sport at the Atlanta 1996 Games. Canada is one of the world’s most successful Wheelchair Rugby programs, winning three silver medals (Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004, London 2012) and one bronze (Beijing 2008).

The Wheelchair Rugby tournament in Paris is poised to be one of the most competitive in Paralympics history.

The top-ranked United States Team clinched a Paralympic spot with its gold-medal win over Canada last November at the Parapan Am Games in Santiago, Chile, forcing Canada into the Paris qualification tournament pathway.

Also headed to Paris are defending gold medal champions Great Britain (No. 4), Denmark (No. 7) from the European championships. Japan (No. 3) from the Asian championships, Australia (No. 2) from winning the Paralympic Qualification tournament and Germany (No. 9) for defeating Brazil in the same tournament for bronze, while sixth-ranked France is awarded a spot as Games host.

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