Lima 2019
Parapan American Games
23 August - 1 September

Wheelchair rugby nations go for Tokyo 2020 spot

Multi-sport competition also acts as Americas Championship 23 Aug 2019
Imagen
Two male opponents go for wheelchair rugby ball
Canada's Mike Whitehead and Brazil's Julio Braz will clash chairs again at Lima 2019
ⒸGetty Images
By Beau Greenway | For the IPC


Another spot at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games is up for grabs as the Americas Championship commences on Friday as part of the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Great Britain and Denmark became the third and fourth qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 after finishing in the top two at the European Championship in Denmark earlier this month - joining Japan and Australia to make up half of the eight-team field.

World No .2 USA will enter Lima 2019 as favourites, with Canada likely to be their main rival for gold.

Star high-pointer Zak Madell has returned to the Canadian squad after some time away from the sport and will look to help his country repeat their heroics from the 2015 Parapan Ams, where they stunned the US in the gold medal match to book their spot at Rio 2016. That forced the US to contest the last chance qualifier to reach the Games.

Rounding out the event is a quartet of South American nations - Brazil, Columbia, Argentina and Chile.

Here is how the six teams line up:

Argentina

Argentina has not been on the podium since the very first Americas Championship in 2009.

They will look to close the gap to Brazil and Colombia for the title of South America's top-ranked wheelchair rugby nation.

Championship medals: Bronze (2009)

Paralympic medals: None

Head coach: Emmanuel Leguizamón

Squad: Juan Cruz Bandini (0.5), Marcelo Damian Ullua (0.5), Mariano Gastaldi (1.0), Brian Nascimento (2.0), Matías Cardozo (2.0), Gustavo Mariano Santoro (2.0), Luis Fernando Cañumil (2.0), Lucas Camussi (2.5), Juan Manuel Herrera (2.5), Mauro Emanuel (2.5), Jose Ignacio Arhancet (3.0), Roberto Lautaro Fernandez (3.5).


Brazil

Brazil have progressively developed since their home Paralympics at Rio 2016.

They took for bronze at this event two years ago and will look to at least finish with a medal again.

Championship medals: Bronze (2011, 2013, 2017)

Paralympic medals: None

Head coach: Ana Ramkrapes

Squad: Gilson Días Wirzma Junior (0.5), Lucas Franca Junqueira (0.5), José Raul Guenther (1.0), Guilherme Camargo (1.5), Davi Coimbra da Abru (2.0), Rafael Hoffmann (2.0), José Higinio Oliveira Souza (2.0), Alexandre Taniguchi (2.5), Daniel Da Silva Goncalves (2.5), Alexandre Vitor Giuriato (3.0), Julio Braz (3.5), Gabriel Feitosa de Lima (3.5).

Brazil's Alexandre Keiji Taniguchi


Canada

Canada has slipped to fifth in the world rankings in the past year following their lowest finish, sixth, at a World Championship last year. However, the return of Madell will certainly boost their chances.

Championship medals: Gold (2015), Silver (2009, 2011, 2013, 2017)

Paralympic medals: Silver (1996, 2004, 2012), Bronze (2008)

Head coach: Patrick Cote

Squad: Eric Rodrigues (0.5), Mélanie Labelle (0.5), Trevor Hircshfield (1.0), Patrice Dagenais (1.0), Patrice Simard (1.5), Benjamin Perkins (2.0), Travis Murao (2.0), Cody Caldwell (2.0), Shayne Smith (2.5), Mike Whitehead (3.0), Zak Madell (3.5), Branden Troutman (3.5).

Canada's Zak Madell


Chile 

A developing wheelchair rugby nation, the lowest ranked team at this year’s event will look learn plenty from playing against the best teams in their zone.

They finished the 2017 Americas Championship strongly with two wins against Paraguay to grab sixth place.

Championship medals: None

Paralympic medals: None

Head coach: Pablo Benavides

Squad: Piero Arévalo Baez (0.5), Jonatan Alarcón Cruces (1.0), Victor Saíz Bocaz (1.0), Ricardo Díaz Flores (1.5), Jeny Barraza Jara (2.0), Cristopher Flores Galdames (2.0), Juan Rodríguez Reyes (2.0), Jonathan Flores Galdames (2.0), Alexis Barraza Jara (2.5), Diego Romero Pineda (3.0), Francisco Cayulef (3.5), Cristian Madariaga (3.5).


Colombia

Colombia will aim to return to the podium after narrowly falling to Brazil in the bronze medal game in 2017 in Asuncion, Paraguay. 

They won two matches at the 2018 Worlds in Sydney, Australia, to place 10th overall and will look to build on that performance in Lima.

Championship medals: Bronze (2015)

Paralympic medals: None

Head coach: Jhonattan Vargas

Squad: Helio Hurtado Torres (0.5), Manuel Mongua Silva (0.5), Carlos Neme (1.0), Disledy Gonzalez Ortiz (1.0), Uriel Rodriguez Diaz (1.5), Esneider Cardenas Rodriguez (1.5), Julian Vargas Lopez (2.0), Cristian Amaya Fajardo (2.0), Paola Martinez Salas (2.0), Moises Alonso Alvares (3.0), Jhon Orozco Nuñez (3.5), Anderson Muñoz Carmona (3.5).

Colombia's Carlos Neme


USA

The powerhouse of the Americas region will not settle for anything less than gold to avoid another trip to the Paralympic qualification tournament next year.

Canada stunned the Americans at the 2015 Parapan Am Games in Toronto to earn automatic qualification for Rio 2016, which will no doubt be in the back of the mind.

Expect to see a few new faces get some minutes in Lima, but the experienced core of the US squad remains key to their success.

Championship medals: Gold (2009, 2011, 2013, 2017), Silver (2015)

Paralympic medals: Gold (1996, 2000, 2008), Silver (2016), Bronze (2004, 2012)

Head coach: James Gumbert

Squad: Jeff Butler (0.5), Chad Cohn (1.0), Lee Fredette (1.0), Joseph Jackson (1.0), Adam Scaturro (1.5), Chuck Melton (2.0), Ernie Chun (2.0), Joe Delagrave (2.0), Eric Newby (2.0), Josh Wheeler (2.5), Chuck Aoki (3.0), Raymond Hennagir III (3.5).

USA's Chuck Aoki


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