With less than a week to go until tip-off, teams are finishing their final preparations for the 2022 Wheelchair Rugby World Championships in Vejle, Denmark. A star-studded list of players has been confirmed, including Australia’s Ryley Batt, Canada’s Zak Madell and Danish fan favorite Sebastian Frederiksen.
The tournament, which takes place between 10 and 16 October, will feature 12 teams, including current world No. 1 and reigning world champions Japan as well as Paralympic champions Great Britain.
Event Director Torben Nygaard from Parasport Denmark said he is excited to welcome 139 top players at the world championships.
“There is just so much talent and quality in the sport right now, I really can’t wait for the tournament to get started. It’s going to be a thrill for the Danish audience to experience and cheer for these teams and players in Vejle,” he said.
Host team Denmark, currently ranked seventh in the world, play Brazil in the opening match of the World Championship on Monday, 10 October following the Opening Ceremony at DGI Huset Vejle.
The first objective for Head Coach Jason Regier and the experienced Danish team is to advance from the group stage and qualify for the quarterfinals where they will look to cause an upset against a higher-ranked team.
“I think it will be the most competitive tournament that we’ve seen at a world championship," Regier said. "If you can make it into the knockout rounds, then you are right where you want to be. Our focus is having a good start in our own pool. All of these teams have shown they have earned the right to be here. Competition is getting better and closer. First quarterfinals and then anything is possible from there."
The USA native is relishing the opportunity for his players to perform at home in Vejle.
“We absolutely love playing in Vejle! We were here in 2019 for the European Championships and the city really embraced that tournament and our team," Regier said. "The energy they brought helped the team to secure a qualifying place for their first ever Paralympics in Tokyo 2020. We’re excited to be playing in front of friends, family and fans of the game."
A total of 46 games will be played on two courts in DGI Huset Vejle, which has a capacity of 1,200 spectators.
The 12 teams taking part in the tournament have been drawn into two pools of six, with the top four teams advancing to the quarterfinals. This is the first world championship to include a quarterfinal round.
The 2022 Wheelchair Rugby World Championship is hosted by Parasport Denmark along with Sport Event Denmark, World Wheelchair Rugby and Vejle Municipality.