May 28th, 2024

Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team punches ticket to Paralympic Games

By The Canadian Press on April 20, 2024.

Canada's Kady Dandeneau heads past England's Amy Conroy on the way to a 13-8 victory in women's 3x3 wheelchair basketball action at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England on Sunday, July 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

OSAKA, Japan – The Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team has secured its place at the 2024 Paralympic Games with a win at a qualifying tournament in Japan.

The team beat Algeria 88-30 at the tournament in Osaka.

Coach Michele Sung praised team members for their hard work in reaching this stage, noting their strong performance came under a coach who only recently took the helm.

Paul Bowes stepped down as head coach in January after leading Canada to a silver medal in November’s Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Sung was named head coach March 19.

The repechage tournament in Osaka was Canada’s final opportunity to book a birth for the summer games in Paris.

Canada went undefeated in Osaka by winning all three group-stage games before defeating Algeria in Saturday’s must-win qualifier.

Kady Dandeneau of Pender Island, B.C., led Canada with 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Arinn Young of Legal, Alta., contributed 15 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Quebec City’s Cindy Ouellet added 14 points, six assists and four rebounds, and Rosalie Lalonde of Saint-Clet, Que., compiled 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the win.

“We came to Osaka with the task of winning all our games, and we accomplished that,” said Ouellet. “This Repechage Tournament was a full team effort. We’re ready to get back to work on some aspects of our game this summer to arrive ready for Paris 2024.”

Canada shot 42 of 79 from the field and scored 32 points off Algerian turnovers in the victory, while holding Algeria to 23 per cent in shooting.

Canada’s women’s wheelchair basketball team won three straight Paralympic gold medals in 1992, 1996 and 2000 followed by a bronze in 2004.

Canada ranked fifth in Tokyo’s Paralympic Games in 2021.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2024.

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