On Monday 29 January 2018 the GB Wheelchair Basketball teams discovered who they will face at the World Championships in Hamburg this August.
The draw, which was streamed live, determined who the men and women’s teams will play during the initial group stages of the Championships.
The GB women’s squad didn’t have to wait long to discover who they will be competing against as the third team drawn in Pool A. The GB women will face Canada, Spain, Brazil, Australia and Netherlands. A tough pool which includes the current World Champions, Canada, and the European Champions and Paralympic Bronze Medallists, the Netherlands.
GB Women’s Head Coach Miles Thompson believes the GB Women’s Team is in great form for the August Championships and commented on the draw:
“Our skill sets are increasing with the implementation of our centralised, academy programme. As a coaching staff we’ve done considerable work individually, as well as a team.
“We are confident, but it’s also important to remain humble and hungry as we look to reach our first ever podium at a major international championship.”
The GB Men’s squad had a longer wait as the second to last team announced in the draw. Ultimately each of the Pools present their own competitive challenges with the current Paralympic gold Medallists USA in Pool B, European Champions Turkey in Pool C and World Champions Australia in Pool D.
Drawn in Pool B, the GB Men’s team will compete against the USA, South Korea and Poland during the Group Stages.
Reflecting on last night’s draw, GB Men’s Head Coach, Haj Bhania believes the outcome of the pool stage competition is all important and added:
The pools seem to be balanced and positioning at the end of pool play will be important. Our Academy Programme drives our preparation and has increased both the quality and depth of our squad with younger players challenging for selection.”
In attendance at last night’s Hamburg draw was British Wheelchair Basketball’s Performance Director, Paul Davies. Collecting his thoughts shortly after the draw Paul said:
I’m incredibly impressed by the 2018 World Championships set-up and the German Federation’s coordination of the Championships to-date.
It’s also great to have the men and women’s World Championships taking place in the same city and at the same time; in 2014 having the two Championships hosted in separate continents meant that we missed the sense of unity that we create when both teams compete together.
To once again have both teams side-by-side in the same tournament is a great prospect and most importantly allows our fans to be fully behind our GB teams during the tournament.”