Canada and Australia fight for top spot on podium

On the last day of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Canada and Australia fight for the gold and USA and Japan go for the bronze in the wheelchair rugby competition. 09 Sep 2012

“We were slow coming out of the block when we played Australia in the group match, so we will have to alter that for the final."

The medals in wheelchair rugby will all be decided on the final day of compeition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Following their thrilling 50-49 victory against rivals USA, Canada will face Australia in a repeat of their opening day group fixture.

The Australians had a relatively straight-forward route to the final, defeating Japan 59-45 in the other semi-final.

This will be Canada’s first appearance in the Paralympic final, despite being the country to invent the sport 25 years ago.

However, they will be hoping for gold on the silver anniversary of this milestone.

Coach Kevin Orr believes that being underdogs will benefit them in the final.

“No-one expected us to win against the USA, so we can go out there and play without any expectation,” Orr said.

“We were slow coming out of the block when we played Australia in the group match, so we will have to alter that for the final.

“I came into this job four years ago with the intention to win gold. I still have that intention.”

Australia’s victory in the semi-final was before Canada’s victory against the USA and had somewhat already written off their final opponents.

“To be the champions, you have to beat the champions,” said top scorer Ryley Batt, who has 124 points to his name in 4 matches.

“We’ve been in this position before, so we are aware that our job isn’t done yet.

“We have got one more game and we are going to come out swinging.”

The bronze medal will also be fought out on the final day of competition between Japan and the USA.

The USA will be expected to overcome their Asian rivals considering their success in Beijing 2008, however Japan has produced some moments of brilliance so far during the competition.

Both teams have spoken about their intention of winning the bronze medal.

Japan’s star-man Daisuke Ikezaki said: “We will study what we have to do. We will reset ourselves and really go for that bronze medal.”

USA coach James Gumbert also recognises how much Japan will want to beat his side.

“Japan will want that bronze medal just as much as us,” he said.

“We’ve got to get ourselves ready and prepared.”

The bronze medal match takes place at 12:00, with the gold medal match commencing at 14:15.

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