will be with Paralympic Games Not an easy opening game for the German men in wheelchair basketball. The team will meet the USA in Tokyo on Thursday night (starting at 2 a.m.) – one of the favorites for the gold medal. The defending champion from the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro finished second at the last World Championships in Hamburg. The German national team will meet a total of five opponents in the group stage. Fourth place is enough for the quarter-finals.
In wheelchair basketball, people with different disabilities compete against each other. Each player is assigned a point value, which amounts to 4.5 points depending on the stability of the stem. In the end there are five athletes with a maximum of 14 points on the field. German women are also present in Tokyo. At the opening ceremony on Tuesday, Captain Mareke Miller carried the German flag alongside biker Michael Teuber. She describes wheelchair basketball as “a mixture of bumper cars and a highly tactical team sport.”
Women also have a tough group
The men’s team plays the first game with respect. “With the United States, we faced the strongest opponent of the group at the beginning,” said Thomas Bohm, who already competed at the Paralympics in 2012 and 2016 and is considered one of the strongest players in the German team. “But our preparations went well, we want to start the tournament well and play a good match.” After that, it will be easier to a limited extent: the defending champions Great Britain will wait on Friday. But the Germans also managed to convince recently: at the Nations Cup in Cologne in July, they beat Turkey. After arriving in Tokyo, they actually competed against the Japanese test team. “It was a good start, we are satisfied with the way things went,” says national team coach Nikolai Zeltinger.
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German women were also subjected to a tough group in Tokyo. “The Netherlands, the USA, England and Canada are strong teams,” Lisa Bergenthal told Tagesspiegel. They will meet with two of these four teams in the next few days. On Thursday evening, the match against Australia begins. In any case, they have a big incentive: they want to win a medal at the Games this year.
This text is part of this year’s Paralympics newspaper. You can find all the texts in our digital series here.
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