Japan were crowned wheelchair rugby champions at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games in South Korea, on Wednesday (22 October).
They beat hosts South Korea 60-40 in the final to become the sport’s first Asian Para Games champions. Newly formed Malaysia claimed the bronze medal in their first major competition, beating fellow newcomers Indonesia 50-29.
It ensures a steady progression for Japan, who have established themselves as the best nation in the region since 2004 by finishing eighth, seventh and fourth respectively at the last three Paralympic Games.
At the recent IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships in Odense, Denmark, they also fell agonisingly short of the medals, losing to two-time Paralympic champions the USA in the bronze medal game.
In the round robin pool phase, Japan went unbeaten and inflicted a cruel welcome to the sport on Malaysia with a 53-13 victory in the tournament opener.
They then beat Indonesia in the same devastating fashion, winning 46-10. Their biggest test came against South Korea, emerging 53-40 in their first of three encounters.
Another 49-19 victory over Malaysia ensued, before beating Indonesia 42-12 and the hosts once more, 60-32.
This set up a final against South Korea, with Japan asserting their dominance to claim the title.
The Asian Para Games see athletes from 41 nations competing across 23 sports and run until 24 October.