Rio 2016: Wheelchair rugby squad finish fifth
PUBLISHED: 09:45 18 September 2016
GB beat Sweden to match London 2012 result
Paralympics GB beat Sweden to finish fifth in the wheelchair rugby tournament in Rio last night.
The 56-42 victory allowed the squad, which included east London’s Bulbul Hussain, to match their efforts of London 2012, with Jim Roberts again top-scoring with 28 goals.
And although they fell short of their target of winning a medal, captain Chris Ryan said the squad could be proud of their performance.
He said: “We beat Sweden by one point in the Europeans last year, so this result shows our improvement and why we are now up there fighting against the top four.
“Tokyo is already in our minds but we’ve also got a World Championships before then to focus on. We don’t want to wait four years to crack the top four, we want that experience before 2020.
“This is a young team, we’ve only been together three years and we’ve come pretty close to the top teams in the world here and that’s a very good sign.”
The first quarter against Sweden was a close affair, but coach Paul Shaw’s side then started to open up an advantage and were good value for their margin of victory.
Having lost to finalists Australia by just two points and gone down in a thrilling overtime contest with top seeds Canada, who lost to the USA in their semi-final, the GB squad are not far away from the bigger nations and their players will learn the lessons of Rio for the 2020 Games.
Leading scorer Roberts, who took his tournament tally into three figures, added: “We’re happy with the win against a well coached team. We’re still disappointed about not making the medal round, which we really thought was possible, but we’ll take a lot from this.”