For the first time in team history, team Canada did not win a medal at the Wheelchair Rugby Cup on home soil. Instead, the number one team in the world settled for a fourth place finish and watched their rivals take home a gold medal.
The United States finished the tournament with a perfect 6-0 record and topped Canada 56-53 to close out the seventh bi-annual Canada Cup, hosted in British Columbia.
Everything went according to plan to kick off the festivities for the host nation as they opened the tournament with victories over Sweden and Great Britain. But aside from a win over Switzerland, who didn’t have one all tournament, that was all Canada would be able to accomplish as they owned a 3-3 record.
In addition to their loss to the Americans, Canada fell to the third and fourth ranked teams in the world in Japan and Australia. While the inability to defeat the top teams in the world in a final tune-up for the Paralympic Games is concerning, Canada is structured with high-character athletes and will look to turn the page quickly.
The fourth place finish was their worst in tournament history and could have implications on the world rankings. Australia finished behind the U.S. to take silver and Japan followed to capture the bronze.
There are no more international events left on the schedule before Rio, but with plenty of highly contested games at the Canada Cup, wheelchair rugby continues to build anticipation as the Paralympic Games near. The gold medal remains up for grabs.
Photo Credit: Dan Galbraith // Canadian Paralympic Committee