Canada-U.S. battle for gold in women’s wheelchair basketball

Canadian Paralympic Committee

November 24, 2023

Winner gets early ticket to Paris 2024


SANTIAGO – Arinn Young remembers the 2019 season as one of her favourites in her international wheelchair basketball career so far.

It was highlighted by a victory over the United States at the Parapan Ams in Lima and assured the Canadians a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Fast forward four years later at the 2023 Parapan Am Games and the same scenario is set.

It’s Canada vs USA for the gold tonight (Friday) and the winner gets an early ticket to the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. The runner-up will have to go through an additional tournament next year.

‘’Just the rivalry itself is something to look forward to,’’ said Young, Canada’s top scorer and second in the tournament with 21.3 points per game. ‘’The USA has gifted athletes with great shooters so it’s going to be a lot of fun and a big challenge. I remember 2019 as a great year for us and a highlight for me.

‘’But all in all, I just like winning.’’

Canada sailed through the preliminary round this week winning its three games in convincing fashion. In Thursday’s semi, it showed no mercy against Argentina with a 76-36 romp.

‘’We are feisty,” said Young. ‘’We are strong individual athletes who can play really well as a team. It’s awesome to see. We are physical and other teams don’t like playing us because of that. So we are going to try and keep that mentality.’’

Other stars for Canada this week include Cindy Ouellet who has dazzled with her speed and clever plays. She is tops in assists with six per game while Kady Dandeneau ranks among the top 10 in tournament scoring, rebounds, fouls drawn, and steals.

The U.S. have three players in the top-10 in scoring led by Rose Hollerman with 12.8 points per game. The Americans have also steamrolled through their opponents in pool play including a 60-30 victory over Brazil in their semi.

As a team, Canada has averaged 80.8 points per game just second to the Americans at 89.9 and defensively the Canadians have only given up 19.5 a game.

Friday’s final will be carried on CBC and Radio-Canada streaming platforms at 7 p.m. Santiago time / 5 p.m. ET.

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