Sweden Takes Gold at Wheelchair Rugby European Championships

10 Oct 2011 By IPC

Sweden proved it really is the best team in Europe by defeating Great Britain to take home the title at last weekend’s International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) European Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland.

In Sunday’s (9 October) final, Sweden beat Great Britain, 49-42 for gold, just after Belgium beat France in a nail-biter, 52-51, to win the bronze.

“If the players stay hungry, we’ll be up for a medal in the Paralympics” Sweden’s manager Marco Dispaltro told the Swedish Paralympic Committee.

“We have a great team with young players in a great mix with older, more experienced players. If the team stays hungry, we’ll be able to fight for the medals.”

France actually upset Sweden by 21 points in the semi-finals, while Belgium lost out to Great Britain by just 1 point.

However, Belgium, along with Sweden, Great Britain and France, all qualified for the London 2012 Paralympic Games after earning spots in the semi-finals of the Championships.

Germany, meanwhile, failed to qualify for the Paralympic Games for the first time ever, finishing a disappointing sixth and losing to Poland in the fifth-place game, 40-37.

Austria beat Switzerland for ninth place, 47-36, and Ireland finally got its first win of the Championships, beating the Netherlands for 11th place, 48-42.