Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Asian Nations: Wheelchair Rugby and Wheelchair Basketball Previews

Wheelchair Rugby

Hosts Japan will be among the favourites at the Wheelchair Rugby competition which will run for five days at the Yoyogi National Stadium starting on August 25, 2021.

Japan are the reigning World champions and having beaten Canada to the bronze medal in Rio, will be looking to improve their medal colour at their home Games.

They are drawn in Group A alongside reigning Paralympic champions Australia, Denmark who are silver medalists from the 2019 European Championships and France who qualified for the Games at the 2020 Paralympic Qualification tournament held in Canada.

In Group B, arguably the harder group, are USA, New Zealand, Great Britain and Canada.

Wheelchair Basketball

Japan is Asia’s most successful nation at the Paralympic Games, with two medals in total since the sport first appeared in 1960. The Japanese women’s team won bronze at both the 1984 Stoke Mandeville Games and at Sydney 2000.

In Tokyo, three men’s teams from Asia KOR, IRI and JPN will compete with KOR and JPN drawn together in Group A. IRI have the harder draw and will face the GBR, USA and AUS who took Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively at the 2018 World Championships.

In the women’s competition, CHN and JPN will be representing the region. Drawn in opposite groups, the Chinese team will be looking to improve on their fourth place at the 2018 World Championships, but will come up against reigning Paralympic Champions USA and current world champions and Rio bronze medalists NED. JPN have arguably the ‘easier’ group but will still face Paralympic silver medalists GER and world championship silver medalists GBR.

The first games start on Wednesday 25th August at the Mushashino Forest Sports Arena and the Ariake Arena. The group stage is a round robin format, with the top four in each group progressing to the quarter-finals, followed by semi-finals, and finals.

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