Great Britain men's teams make finals at BT Paralympic World Cup
about a year ago
Great Britain men’s football 7-a-side and wheelchair basketball teams have made tomorrow’s BT Paralympic World Cup finals after successfully coming through their must-win games today.
The football 7-a-side team take on Brazil, in a repeat of their opening game of the competition, while the wheelchair basketball side meet USA in their final.
On the pitch, Michael Barker and Ibrahima Diallo both scored hat-tricks as Great Britain beat Republic of Ireland 7-3 to set up a mouth-watering BT Paralympic World Cup finale.
Captain Matt Dimbylow’s second half strike completed the rout for GB and the hosts will look forward to tomorrow’s encounter with the Samba Boys, which provides them with an opportunity to reverse the 4-2 loss they suffered to their Brazilian counterparts in their opening match of the competition.
Lining up in a sun-soaked Manchester Regional Arena, Diallo opened the scoring on 22 minutes, which turned out to be the only goal of the half.
The floodgates opened after the break though, with goals from Luke Evans and Gary Messett scant consolation for the Republic of Ireland team.
Both Barker and Diallo were modest about their achievements and instead paid tribute to the hard work of their teammates.
Barker said: "That was a great game, I'm so happy we won and a hat-trick for me, so I was really chuffed. Tomorrow we want gold and I won't be happy with anything less, so we will have to play our best game.
"I love the competition here and it's a great build up ahead of London."Michael Barker
Diallo added: “We all work really hard as a team and we’ve got a great buzz around the guys, so we’re feeling very confident at the moment.
“Hopefully we can play how we want to tomorrow and to come away from here with the win which would be absolutely amazing.”Ibrahima Diallo
Brazil will line up in the final unbeaten, after scoring ten unanswered goals against USA in the day’s other football 7-a-side game.
Hat-tricks a piece from Jose Guimaraes and Fabio Bordignon, a double from Jan Costa and strikes from Ronaldo Souza and Yurig Ribeiro were Brazil’s reward for some fantastic attacking action, supplemented with flair and penetration in equal measure.
On the court, the Great Britain men’s wheelchair basketball team beat Japan 59-50, to secure their final spot against USA.
Thanks largely to fantastic performances from team stalwart Simon Munn and Ian Sagar, who scored 20 and 19 respectively, Great Britain have the opportunity to finish their competition on a high after the disappointment of losing to USA yesterday.
Hiroaki Kozai had another fantastic performance for Japan, who alongside Reo Fujimoto both scored 19 points, and their side will take on Germany in the bronze playoff match.
GB star Abdi Jama said: “It was an average game for us, but we showed great spirit, the bulldog spirit in the way we came back. I don't know what's happened to our shooting this tournament, we were playing in Germany last week and it was a different story.
“We beat Japan there by over 20 points. Fortunately our shooting just turned a corner in the second half and we pulled it back. We are looking forward to playing the USA again, we need to come back from that defeat.”
The Great Britain women’s wheelchair basketball team went down narrowly 42-52 to Germany in a match that could have swung either way.
The result means the women have lost all three of their matches and will be playing for the bronze medal tomorrow.
Gesche Schunemann again topped the scoring with 20 points, with the impressive Helen Freeman topping the score charts for Great Britain with 11.
Despite the loss, Freeman was understandably very proud of her team’s efforts and says this experience could prove to be invaluable come the Paralympics in London, which are now just 96 days away.
Freeman said: “It was definitely our best game so far, we have got potential to improve."
"We are playing against the best teams in the world and so it’s fantastic practise for us leading into the summer."Helen Freeman
“We can learn a lot from this tournament and from these games and work on our weakness's going towards London. We have been trying out a lot of different line ups and so everyone has got to play against these great teams.”
Great Britain’s opponents, and the other finalist, will be decided by the result of the USA and Australia match.
Earlier, the USA men qualified for tomorrow’s final with a 64-59 win against Germany.
Sebastian Wolk and Thomas Boehme shone for Germany, but the difference was Steve Serio for the USA, with his 15 points a vital cog in his side’s machine.
USA player Paul Schulte said: "Germany are a good team and it was a tight game, a little bit too close. We were a little bit colder shooting today in comparison to yesterday against GB.
“The last game we played against them, we won more comfortably. We want to work on a few things going towards London and we want to make sure we don't go home without a medal."
The BT Paralympic World Cup is the largest annual international multi-sport competition in elite disability sport. BT is entering its fourth year as title sponsor, upholding its strong commitment to disability sport in the UK that stretches back over twenty years.
Manchester has committed for the eighth consecutive year to hosting elite international athletes competing across Wheelchair Basketball, Athletics and Football 7-a-side. In addition, Boccia will once again be represented, with an international match being staged during the competition.
The 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup will once again be broadcast by Channel 4. For more information about Channel 4’s Paralympic coverage, visit: www.channel4.com/paralympics.
The BT Paralympic World Cup is sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and supported by ParalympicsGB, BT and Manchester City Council.
Tickets for the BT Paralympic World Cup are on sale. For more information visit: www.btparalympicworldcup.com
The event schedule for the rest of the week see the Manchester Regional Arena host Wheelchair Basketball and Football 7-a-side on 23-26 May and the Boccia match on 24 May.
Catch 'London Dreaming' programme tonight on Channel 4 at 19:55. The films are produced in conjunction with BT. Channel 4 is the host broadcaster for the a London 2012 Paralympics Games. BT is the official communications services partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.