Different goals for Canada’s wheelchair basketball teams at IWBF World Championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

June 09, 2023

Canadian women in medal hunt


DUBAI, UAE – The Canadian women are in the medal hunt and the men look to gain more confidence for upcoming Paralympic Games qualifiers as the IWBF 2023 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships got underway today and run until June 20.

There are 12 countries in the women’s tournament. Canada is in Group B with Paralympic Games silver medallists China, Brazil, Australia, Spain and Great Britain. Group A is comprised of Paralympic champions and bronze medallist the Netherlands and USA as well as Algeria, Thailand, Japan and Germany. The host country United Arab Emirates is not entered in the women’s tournament.

The Canadian team is led by scoring sensations Arinn Young and Kady Dandeneau along with five-time Paralympian Cindy Ouellet. Nine of the 11 players were on the 2018 world team and 2020 Paralympic Games team that placed fifth each time.

“This team is tough, talented and determined,” said Marni Abbott-Peter, named head coach of the women’s team this past April. “We continue to improve and grow each time we get on the court, and we look forward to competing at the worlds.”

The Canadian women open their preliminary round June 10 against Brazil then face Spain June 12, Great Britain June 13, Australia June 14 and China June 16. The quarterfinals are June 17, the semis June 18 and the medal matches June 20.

Canada has won the women’s tournament a nation leading five times, the last in 2014 when Toronto hosted the women’s worlds.

On the men’s side, there are 16 countries split into four groups. Canada is in Group B with Egypt, Germany and Thailand. Group A is Australia, Italy Brazil and United Arab Emirates; Groups C is Netherlands, Argentina, South Korea and France and Group D is USA, Great Britain, Iraq and Iran. The U.S. and UK were first and third at the Paralympic Games.

The top players on the Canadian team include four-time Paralympian Pat Anderson, competing at his fifth worlds, Nik Goncin and Bo Hedges. Matteo Feriani is Canada’s head coach.

‘’This is a great wheelchair basketball era to be a part of,’’ said Anderson, 43, who also starred in Canada’s glory years in the sport with three Paralympic Games gold medals and one world title. ‘’We’re not at the top of the heap right now but it’s exciting. There’s a lot of parity and lot to be excited about in our program.’’

The men open their prelims schedule June 10 against Germany followed by games June 11 vs Thailand, and June 14 vs Egypt. The quarterfinals are June 16, the semis June 18 and the medal matches June 20.

‘’Our team is a fusion of youth and veterans,’’ said Tyler Miller, a three-time Paralympian at his third worlds. ‘’It’s about us coming together. The old guys have been through the battles and the young guys are injecting that energy.’’

The Canadian men were 12th at the last worlds in 2018 and improved to eighth at Tokyo 2020. They look to gain more ground internationally heading into the 2024 Paralympic Games season.

‘’It’s great to be part of this rebuild,’’ said Bo Hedges, also a three-time Paralympian at his third worlds. ‘’I’m excited about this team, our potential and what we can do at these worlds. Hopefully it will help lead us into Paris.’’

Team Canada’s men’s and women’s games will be carried live on CBC’s streaming channels. The complete schedule can be found here.

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