Hangzhou 2022 APG Wheelchair Basketball Preview: Iran men, China women expected to dominate

Once again, the onus will be on defending champions Iran (men) and China (women) to reign supreme when the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games gets underway on October 22.

Twelve nations (10 men’s and six women’s teams) will fight it out for the top honours over all eight days at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium.

Iran’s men and China’s women will head into the Games with lot of confidence following their impressive shows at the recent IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Dubai.

Iran‘s men produced a historic show after clinching their first ever World Championships medal – a bronze medal after they pulled off a 72-54 win over the Netherlands. Iran were led by Morteza Abedi’s double-double (19 points, 18 rebounds) and star player Omid Hadiazhar (11 points) in Dubai.

Indonesia 2018 medallists Japan and the Republic of Korea will be also eager to make some noise in Hangzhou.

The men’s line-up will also include Afghanistan and Philippines for the first time and both will be looking to make a mark on their debuts. The line-up also includes Kuwait, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Chinese Taipei as well as the hosts nation.

China in action against Japan in a women’s wheelchair basketball game at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games

Meanwhile, China’s women will be eager to continue their incredible run from the World Championships where they took the silver medal. The Chinese women’s team returned to international competition after nearly two years away at the Dubai 2022 World Championships, but they hardly showed any rustiness in their game.

They are expected to rule the courts at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium in front of their home fans, while Japan and Iran women are expected to put up a strong challenge.

Cambodia and Thailand are the other teams competing in women’s event which will also have Laos for the first time.

Wheelchair Basketball, one of the most spectacular Paralympic sports, has been contested at the Summer Paralympics since the 1960 Rome Games. The sport was introduced in the Asian Para Games at the 2010 Guangzhou Games.

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