Men’s and women’s teams from Australia, Portugal, Poland, France, Japan and Egypt have arrived in Loano, Italy, for the 2017 International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) World Basketball Championships which get underway on Tuesday (21 November).
Australia have dominated the court in recent years and return as the women’s 3×3 champions. Since winning gold at the 2015 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games in Ecuador they have remained No. 1 in the world rankings. Their second team also picked up bronze two years ago.
Senior players in Eliza Mills, Kim Perry, Molly Urguhart-Moran, Kaitlyn Papworth and Nicole Harris form the core of the Australian team.
The world leaders are fielding two teams who will play France in a round robin format. It is hoped that the Championships will help to develop women’s basketball, as well as showcasing the excitement of the 3×3 game.
It will also be the first women’s 3×3 title awarded at a stand-alone World Championships.
In the men’s 5×5, France and Portugal will be looking to capitalise on the absence of 2015 champions Venezuela.
Portugal beat Australia for bronze two years ago, bouncing back slightly from the disappointment of losing the chance to defend their title from 2013. France lost out to Venezuela by more than 20 points in the gold medal match.
The Egyptian men’s team will make their international debut at an World Intellectual Impairment Sport basketball World Championships.
“As for our opponents, from what we have observed and the results show, France has been the team that in recent years has shown greater evolution,” Portugal’s coach Alcindo Quaresma said. “We do not know how the other teams will be, but we know from their past that Poland and Australia are always opponents to be taken into account. Japan are already known for their stance to fight to the end in any match and with any opponent, with all the determination and enthusiasm. “The surprise for us, and total ignorance, is in relation to the team of Egypt, given that it is the first time we will meet.
Competition opens in Loano on Tuesday and runs until 25 November, when the medal matches will be played. All matches will be contested at the Palagarassini stadium.
The Championships are supported by the Executive of the Italian Sports Ministry, the Ligurian region and Loano Municipality.
About World Intellectual Impairment Sport
World Intellectual Impairment Sport represents more than 300,000 athletes with intellectual impairments around the world. We give elite athletes the chance to compete at an international level and on the Paralympic stage. But we cannot continue our work towards the inclusion of the people with intellectual impairments in society without your support.
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