The Spanish women’s and men’s Wheelchair Basketball teams are heading to Nazareth, Israel, to take part in next week’s 2011 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) European Championships with the goal to earn a spot in the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
To reach this goal, the men’s team has to finish amongst the top five teams of the tournament. Should Great Britain, who are qualified automatically for next year’s Games as the host country, finish in the top five, then a sixth place finish would be enough for Spain to qualify for their first Paralympic Games in 16 years.
The women’s team last Paralympic Games appearance was on home soil in Barcelona in 1992 and they need a podium finish in Nazareth to qualify for next year’s tournament. The team will face Great Britain, Germany, France, Israel, the Netherlands and Turkey in a round robin before play-off games start.
The men’s team will play in group A of the tournament against France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Poland. Group B will consist of Israel, Italia, Turkey, Switzerland, Belgium and Great Britain.
In preparation for the European Championships, the Spanish men had training camps in January, July and August in Madrid. On Thursday they will face a Wheelchair Basketball selection of Madrid, and on 3 and 4 September they will play against France, Belgium and a Catalanian team.
The women Wheelchair Basketball players travelled to France at the beginning of this summer for a tournament and continue their preparations in Madrid this week.