China women’s team remained unbeaten, while the Australian men’s side retained their legacy at the 2019 Asia Oceania Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, that concluded on 7 December.
Both teams earned a spot for their nation at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with the top two women’s and top three men’s teams achieving qualification.
China continued their rise in the sport since stealing Australia’s slot for the Rio 2016 Paralympics. They had also lifted the Asia Oceania title in 2017.
In this edition, they went on to lift the title with an authoritative win over Australia (53-31).
China took advantage of numerous turnovers from Australia to go up 33-12 at the half and never let the advantage slip as they aimed to show more following their fourth-place finish at the 2018 World Championships.
Suiling Lin was the top scorer with 15 points, while youngster Teisha Shadwell led Australia with 12 points.
In the bronze medal contest, Japan bounced back from their defeat to Australia in the semi-finals to tame hosts Thailand, 85-22.
Australia men’s team retain top spot
The Australian men’s team kept their unbeaten record in the tournament intact. They defeated South Korea 62-45 in the gold medal showdown.
The 2018 World Championship bronze medallists established a large lead early on, 23-8 at the end of the first and kept that momentum going.
Australia’s captain Shaun Norris led all scorers with 26 points, followed by South Korea’s Dong Hyeon Gim, who made a double-double of 20 points and 16 rebounds.
Iran took home the bronze medal seeing off Japan, 66-55.
Australia head coach, Craig Friday said: “I know we won the final, but I was pretty disappointed how we finished the game. Where we want to be in nine months’ time, we need to be better than that; but credit to the guys.
“I felt we started really well and got some separation but just disappointed we didn’t put the polish on the game. But a solid week, we got a bit more to add and a bit more to do but pretty happy at where we are at the moment.”