With the 2008 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championships finished in Marlborough, USA, last weekend, the memory of the contest still remains alive and well. The team representing Canada competed in full-force, losing no games and taking the gold medal as a result. Approximately 200 athletes with a disability were in attendance from the different countries, including Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Poland and USA.
US Team during one of their matches, Photo: US ParalympicsPlaying in the A-Tournament, Canada’s day one saw a strong start, with an 11-0 victory over Italy. The leader of all things scoring-related came from Billy Bridges, who in several games was able to have multiple goals. Walking away with the silver medal was Norway, who had the opportunity to beat Canada twice, as they both had the best number of wins in the A-Tournament after day four. Norway’s defeat, in both games, however proved the vitality of the Canadians. Although beginning strong, the US Team took two losses, to Canada and Norway, shifting their claim to the bronze medal after defeating Japan in the final match
Korea won the B-Tournament, also remaining undefeated. Cho Byeongseok led the Koreans in their quick finish to victory. After losing in the finals, the Czech Republic took the second place with Jiri Berger scoring a goal in every other game, while Estonia took the bronze medal.
As a result to their excellent performances in the B-Tournament, Korea and Czech Republic will now have the chance to compete in the A-Tournament of next year’s IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships and therefore have the chance to also qualify for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.