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Reigning Paralympic wheelchair rugby champions Australia will defend their title at the Rio 2016 Games after becoming the first team to guarantee a place by winning the 2014 World Championship on Sunday (10 August).
In the final, held at the Arena Fyn in the Danish city of Odense, an Australian team that included stars Ryley Batt and Chris Bond defeated Zak Madell’s Canadian team 67-56 in a rerun of the London 2012 Paralympic Games final. Ranked second in the world, the Australians won each of their six games during the championship.
“That’s the last title ticked off the list. We have a Paralympic gold, Oceanic gold and now a World Championship gold, and we are so proud of that,” said Batt.
The World Championship was the first wheelchair rugby qualifying competition for the Rio 2016 Games. The 2015 Parapan American Games, European Championship and Asia-Oceania Championship will see a further four countries qualify. Two places will be up for grabs at the 2016 World Championship, and the eighth and final spot automatically goes to Brazil as host of South America’s first Olympic and Paralympic Games.