“The World Championship is our biggest event, and it has consistently been improving both in the quality of the competition and the hosting.”
The International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) has announced the 12 countries which have qualified for the 2014 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships to be held from August 1-10 in Odense, Denmark.
Qualification for the sixth IWRF World Championships began at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where gold medallists Australia secured the first position alongside 2014 host country Denmark.
Seven additional teams qualified for the event through the 2013 Zone Championships.
Canada and the USA qualified from the Americas Zone Championship in Birmingham, Alabama in the USA.
Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, and Sweden qualified from the European Zone Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.
Japan qualified from the Asia-Oceania Zone Championship in Pretoria, South Africa.
The final three wild card qualification positions were assigned to Finland, France, and New Zealand.
“The World Championship is our biggest event, and it has consistently been improving both in the quality of the competition and the hosting,” said IWRF President John Bishop.
“With these 12 teams, I am certain we will have the best competition yet. We have a great host city and organising committee, and I am looking forward to this event.”
This is the first time the World Championships have been hosted in Denmark; previous European hosts include Sweden in 2002 and Switzerland, which hosted the first IWRF World Championships in 1995.
Denmark previously hosted two European Championships, and the host city for 2014, Odense, hosted a very successful test event, the Denmark Challenge, in June 2013.
The last IWRF World Championships was held in Richmond, British Columbia in Canada, in September 2010. The top three finishers at that event were the USA, Australia, and Japan. Over the previous five Championships, the USA won four and Canada one.