Great Britain defend wheelchair rugby title

Sweden and France claim silver and bronze at historic European Championship. 03 Jul 2017
A group of men in wheelchairs surrounded by confetti and ribbons celebrate with the trophy

Great Britain secured back-to-back European titles with victory over Sweden in the final.

ⒸNathaniel Holland
By Nathaniel Holland for IWRF; and IPC

Great Britain claimed back-to-back titles after defeating Sweden in the final of the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) 2017 European Championship.

It was an historic sixth overall European Championship title for the British, after they secured a 49-41 victory over the Swedes on Saturday (1 July) in Koblenz, Germany. France also made history after defeating Denmark for the bronze, which was their first ever medal of the Championship. The top four teams also booked their places at the 2018 World Championships in Sydney, Australia.

Saturday’s final was a repeat of the 2015 tournament that saw Great Britain win by one point. After a nail-biting opening first-half with the score locked at 25-25, the reigning champions ramped up the pressure and managed to secure the win.

Denmark were looking to better their bronze medal from the 2015 edition but could not repeat that that feat, falling 53-48 in the third-place match.

Teams finishing outside the top four will still have another chance to qualify for the 2018 World Championships through a qualification tournament held early next year.

2017 IWRF European Championship All-Tournament team

0.5 Adrien Chalmin (France)

1.0 Stefan Jansson (Sweden)

1.5 Thomas Schuwje (Germany)

2.0 Gavin Walker (Great Britain)

2.5 Tomas Hjert (Sweden)

3.0 Jim Roberts (Great Britain)

3.5 Sebastian Frederiksen (Denmark)

Most Valuable Player (MVP)

Tobias Sandberg (Sweden)

Final standings

1st - Great Britain

2nd - Sweden

3rd - France

4th - Denmark

5th - Poland

6th - Germany

7th - Ireland

8th - Finland

Complete results from the IWRF 2017 European Championship can be found on the event website