IWRF World Championships: Day one preview

Hosts Denmark will get the competition underway against Belgium, before New Zealand face France on the first day of the IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships. 04 Aug 2014
Players in wheelchairs lining up and high five

Settling for bronze at London 2012, USA's wheelchair rugby team is now looking to win the World Championships in Denmark

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By Beau Greenway| For the IPC

The wait is finally over as the 2014 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships begin on Monday (4 August) at Arena Fyn in Odense, Denmark.

After months of anticipation, Arena Fyn looks more than ready to host a world class event as the 12 best teams in wheelchair rugby fight for the world title.

The event, starting at 15:00 local time with the Opening Ceremony, will include a parkour display, a stomp performance, as well as a test game featuring some Danish celebrities and local wheelchair rugby players.

The opening game of the tournament will then get underway as Denmark meet Belgium at 16:30 local time.

France and New Zealand also open their campaigns later in the evening when they clash at 18:30.

The home side will start as favourites against a Belgian outfit that has struggled for form in recent major tournaments.

Expectations will be high for the hosts who have been in very good form in lead up events, including a strong fifth place performance at June’s Canada Cup.

Thor Johansson and the Danish team appeared calm at training on Sunday (3 August) but will carry the heavy expectation of the home crowd.

Following the tournament opener, France will play its first IWRF World Championship match. The debutants secured their place by performing well at the European Championships last year and will be eager to show that on the world stage.

New Zealand has also undergone a massive transformation to get themselves back amongst the world’s top ranked teams.

The 2004 Paralympic champions failed to qualify for the London 2012 Paralympic Games but have worked incredibly hard over the last year to book their place at the event.

Both matches will be live streamed on the 2014 IWRF World Championship website.