Big four remain unbeaten at IWRF World Championships

Australia, Canada, Japan and USA remained unbeaten after Wednesday’s fixtures. 07 Aug 2014
A Danish player wearing red loses control of the white ball as he is sandwiched between two Australian players wearing green.

Ryley Batt puts in a big hit to help Australia beat Denmark at the 2014 IWRF World Championships in Odense, Denmark.

ⒸBrian Mouridsen / IWRF
By Beau Greenway | For the IPC

After three days of the 2014 International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) World Championships in Odense, Denmark, the top four ranked teams have yet to falter.


On Wednesday (6 August), defending champions USA looked as classy as ever with a 65-48 win over European champions Sweden and now lead Group B.


USA team captain Joe Delagrave said his team are achieving their goals set for each match and are working towards the desired result of winning the gold medal.


“The whole tournament we have been trying to come out with intensity each game even though some of the games might be bigger margins than others.


“No matter who we bring out, we are trying to win each quarter, each line. It's 0-0 when we come out so that way we can't really let the intensity get lower when we are up by 10 to 15 goals. We keep it up the whole way through,” Delagrave said.


London 2012 gold medallists Australia outclassed Belgium in their first encounter 72-46 and held off a spirited challenge from the hosts Denmark later in the afternoon to secure a 56-50 win. They now top Group A.


Josh Hose was full of praise for the way the Danes played as they really made Australia work for every goal.


“Denmark is a very strong team, he said. “They played well and really tested us. We got to play with all our line-ups, so credit to them.”


Canada, silver medallists at the last Paralympic Games, have been quietly going about their business without much fuss as the spotlight has been firmly on Denmark, Australia and the USA.


They had to wait until the final match of the day to play Finland but were far too strong as they registered a comfortable 67-40 victory.

Canadian coach Kevin Orr has been pleased with the effort of his players so far.


“We like the way things are going and we like flying under the radar,” Orr said.


“We wanted to work on our line-ups and practice some things that are going to help us throughout the tournament like using our bench to manage ourselves through the week.”


Japan continued their winning ways with a hard fought 54-45 win over New Zealand, much to the delight of star player Yukinobu Ike.

Ike said: “One of our goals is for sure to make the semi-finals, so it's a good feeling to achieve that goal. Game-by-game we are improving and with this win we kept that going.”


Debutants France may not be medal contenders, but they created a little piece of history by achieving their first win at an IWRF World Championship, defeating Germany 46-44.


Pablo Neuman could not hide his jubilation at the end of the match.


“It's our first time here and our first win. We haven't beaten Germany since 2011 which is a great achievement for us.


“When we get two or three points behind, we have found it difficult to come back but we made it today which is a huge step for us,” Neuman said.


Great Britain warmed up for their clash with Canada on Thursday (7 August) with an easy 54-31 win over Finland.


See the results of all of Wednesday’s matches here.


All of Thursday's matches will be streamed from the World Championship website starting from 10:00.


Do not forget to check out all of the photos from throughout the week on Flickr.