Australia claim world No.1 in wheelchair rugby

Following their back-to-back Paralympic titles the Steelers sit proudly atop the rankings. 25 Sep 2016
Australia's Chris Bond pushes down the court as USA's Josh Brewer reaches for the ball

Australia's Chris Bond pushes down the court as USA's Josh Brewer reaches for the ball during an epic gold medal match to finish the Rio 2016 wheelchair rugby tournament.

ⒸCWSA/Kevin Bogetti-Smith

Australia have claimed the top spot of the wheelchair rugby rankings after their gold medal win at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, overtaking the USA.

The Steelers’ slim 59-58 double overtime victory over the US at the Carioca Arena 2 has been dubbed by some ‘the greatest game of all time’.

Two periods of extra time were needed, before the ball finally found the hands of Australian Ryley Batt as the seconds ticked away.

The win saw the USA drop to No.2 in the rankings ahead of Japan.

The Tokyo 2020 hosts pulled off a surprise 52-50 victory over London 2012 silver medallists Canada to claim the bronze, and their first ever Paralympic medal.

Canada’s Zak Madell paid tribute to the heart the Japanese showed, as well as the improving standards of the sport: "They played on fire, they're passionate, and after the game as everyone can see, they're happy – they've earned it," he said. "We won the silver medal in London and decided we wanted to improve on that, so there was four years of hard training.

"The depth of the field we're in has changed so drastically in the last four years. Japan have stepped up their game.

"Really, any of the top five teams could have come out of this with a medal around their neck, top eight really. Everyone played well. Unfortunately, it wasn't us this time."

The full International Wheelchair Rugby Federation world rankings are available online.