The 2018 Wheelchair Basketball World Championship finals are set, with both Great Britain’s men’s and women’s teams vying for the gold medal in Hamburg, Germany.
The women’s medal matches tip off Saturday (25 August), and the men’s on Sunday (26 August).
It is the first time both British teams have reached the World Championship finals simultaneously, and first since 2006 that the finals feature a men’s and women’s team from the same country; both US and Canadian men’s and women’s teams played for the world titles in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Women’s semi-final: British upset hosts
Great Britain will play for their first world title after beating hosts Germany 60-37. Helen Freeman’s double-double (31 points and 12 rebounds) powered the British side who had complete control of the game. Mareike Miller was limited to nine points for Germany, who now play for bronze against China.
“It’s a great win, it’s been a tremendous effort on the part of the team, they played the best we could and we needed that,” British coach Miles Thompson said. “For us, it’s the first time we’ve made it to the final of such a big championship. The girls deserve credit, they did the work, we had a plan and it was implemented, it was brilliant.”
The second women’s semi-final saw the Netherlands progress after their 54-29 win over China.
Dutch coach Gertjan van der Linden, said: “We have never been to a World Championships final before, so it will be a unique match for us. We played a very good defence again today, as we have throughout the tournament. We always put pressure on the ball and kept China at a very low field goal rate. It will be a great game tomorrow and we will do our best to beat Great Britain in the group stage, but they have an impressive victory today against Germany. “
Men’s semi-final: GB and USA to meet
Great Britain and the USA will play for gold for the first time since 2002.
The British squad topped Iran 86-63, while the Asian nation plays Australia for the bronze medal.
Gregg Warburton led the winning offence with 22 points, while Iranian Omid Hadiazhar achieved the double-double (20 points, 11 rebounds).
British coach Haj Bhania said: “In the late stages of the tournament, all that matters is that if you take the chances, you will get the right results, and I was very impressed with the drive and the ambition of the players and also of our fans.”
The USA knocked out defending champions Australia 84 -59 to play for their first world title since 2002.
US coach Ron Lykins said: “We were ready for the game from the beginning and we played with great energy. The key for us was that we played great team basketball and we got the ball moving very well. Australia have a very good team with lots of weapons, and the game felt much closer than the 25 point difference at the end. Of course we want to win the gold medal and tonight, after the second semi-final, we’ll do another detailed video analysis of our final opponent.”
Complete results can be found on the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation’s website.