The men’s final at the 2010 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) Wheelchair Basketball World Championships saw the Australians take home the gold medal over the weekend in Birmingham, Great Britain.
Taking place on 17 July, the final match had Australia as favourites against France with an impressive first-half performance from both sides. Australia took an early lead in the first quarter as the period finished 20:15. The second quarter score also had Australia in the lead, 45-29.
France outscored Australia in the third quarter, 17 to 14, giving momentum to the French. And in the final quarter, France again pushed Australia and reduced the loss to six points. A few three-point misses by the French however gave more security to the Australians, and the final score of 79-69 crowned them World Champions for 2010.
France’s Sofyane Mehiaoui was the star player as he scored 16 points. Australia’s Justin Eveson and Shaun Norris scored 23 and 18 points respectively, giving Eveson top scorer status.
In the women’s final, Germany and USA played an extremely close game until the final seconds. At half time, Germany led by the narrowest of margins, with Team USA bringing the score 30-29. By the end of the third quarter, the score sat at 40:40.
An extremely tense final quarter saw each side matching the other with just one point difference. With six seconds left on the clock, USA scored to make it 54-53 in their favour. One final free-throw shot brought the final score to 55-53, giving the USA the gold medal.
USA’s Becca Murray scored a high 25 points, with a shooting percentage of 71%. For Germany, Marina Mohnen was the top scorer with 15 points.
In the Women’s Bronze medal game, Canada won against Australia 59-49. In the Men’s Bronze, USA won against Italy 71-42.
Host country Great Britain took fifth place on the men’s side, winning 82-68 against Poland. And the Netherlands took fifth on the women’s side, winning 58-43 against Great Britain.
Taking place from 7-17 July in the National Indoor Arena, the 2010 IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships saw 12 men’s teams and ten women’s teams compete in the most important and biggest Wheelchair Basketball event before the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Countries represented at the Championships included the Netherlands, Brazil, Great Britain, Japan, Australia, Germany, Mexico, USA, Canada, China, Poland, Italy, France, Turkey, Algeria and South Korea.