PREVIEWING LIMA 2019: TOKYO 2020 BERTH ON THE LINE IN WHEELCHAIR RUGBY AT PARAPAN AM GAMES
August 15, 2019The Canadian wheelchair rugby team heads into the Parapan Am Games as the defending champion and a repeat performance would guarantee a berth at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
(Canadian Paralympic Committee, Ottawa) – The Canadian wheelchair rugby team heads into the Parapan Am Games as the defending champion and a repeat performance would guarantee a berth at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
However, unlike their counterparts in wheelchair basketball, the Canadian wheelchair rugby team would be able to play in a last chance Paralympic Games qualifier if it did not win in Lima.
There are six countries in the Lima tournament: USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Colombia. There is one division and each team faces each other once in the round-robin. The top four then advance to the semifinals on August 26 and the medal matches are August 27.
Canada (ranked fifth in the world) opens the round-robin August 23 against Argentina (#20), followed by matches against Brazil (#9) and Colombia (#13) on August 24 and Chile (#21) and USA (#2) on August 25.
At the 2015 Parapan Ams, Canada and USA provided thrilling moments in both their encounters. The Americans won the round-robin tilt 60-59 but Canada turned the tables in the final with a 57-54 win.
Toronto was the first Parapan Ams to include wheelchair rugby in its program.
There are seven returnees from the 2015 Parapan Am team and the fourth-place 2016 Paralympic team. They are scoring machine Zak Madell of Okotoks, Alta., Cody Caldwell of Peterborough, Ont., Patrice Dagenais of Embrun, Ont., Trevor Hirschfield of Parksville, B.C., Travis Murao of Richmond, B.C., Patrice Simard of Quebec City, and Mike Whitehead of Windsor, Ont.
The newcomers are Eric Furtado Rodrigues of Mississauga, Ont., Mélanie Labelle of St-Hubert, Que., Benjamin Perkins of North Augusta, Ont., Shayne Smith of Toronto and Branden Troutman of Lloydminster, Alta.
Canada is sending a team of 151 athletes to the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games, taking place August 23 to September 1.
For more information on the Canadian Parapan Am Team, please visit Paralympic.ca/lima2019.