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Gliders World Championship team named
The Australian Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team to contest the 2010 IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in Birmingham, England from July 7-17, has been announced today by Basketball Australia.
The Australian Gliders will be captained by Tina McKenzie, whose experience with the Gliders dates back to her inclusion as a reserve for the team at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney.
McKenzie, along with senior players Liesl Tesch and Kylie Gauci, will look to guide the side to its first ever Gold medal at the World Championships. The 2010 event will be the fourth occasion of the Women’s Championship; Canada has won the Gold on all three previous occasions.
The Gliders will also be asking for big things from 21 year-old Cobi Crispin, who played a leading role in the team’s recent 2-3 series loss to Germany, where she top scored for the Australians in three of the five games played.
The team includes 10 of the 12 athletes from the Bronze medal-winning team at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. At just 17 years of age, Amber Merritt is the youngest of the players selected in what is otherwise a very experienced side, 29-year-old Leanne Del Toso is the other new face since Beijing.
The Gliders will travel to Berlin to face the Germans again from July 2-4, where both teams will be intent on adding finishing touches to their World Championships preparations.
The Gliders will begin their World Championships campaign on July 8 when they will meet Mexico in their first game of the Preliminary Rounds. The Australians have been drawn in Pool A, which also includes The Netherlands, Great Britain, Mexico, and the defending champions, Canada.
Gliders’ 2010 IWBF World Championships Team:
Melanie DOMASCHENZ / 26 / Victorian Dandenong Rangers / 1.0
Cobi CRISPIN / 21 / Perth Western Stars / 4.0
Bridie KEAN / 23 / Victorian Dandenong Rangers / 4.0
Amber MERRITT / 17 / Perth Western Stars / 4.5
Tina MCKENZIE (c) / 35 / Victorian Dandenong Rangers / 3.0
Liesl TESCH / 41 / Sydney Uni Wheelchair Flames / 4.0
Clare BURZYNSKI / 23 / Perth Western Stars / 1.0
Kylie GAUCI / 25 / Goudkamp Gladiators / 2.0
Sarah STEWART / 34 / Sydney Uni Wheelchair Flames / 3.0
Katie HILL / 26 / Sydney Uni Wheelchair Flames / 3.0
Leanne DEL TOSO / 29 / Victorian Dandenong Rangers / 4.0
Shelley CHAPLIN / 25 / Victorian Dandenong Rangers / 3.5
Head coach: John Triscari
Assistant Coaches: Ben Osborne, Matt Dunstan
Manager: Marian Stewart
Physio: Miranda Wallis
Gliders’ 2010 World Championships Schedule
Thursday 8 July: 10:00 Australia v Mexico (7.00pm AEST)
Saturday 10 July: 12:15 Australia v Great Britain (9.15pm AEST)
Sunday 11 July: 18:30 Australia v Netherlands (3.00am Monday 11 July AEST)
Monday 12 July: 12:15 Australia v Canada (9.15pm AEST)
Wednesday 14 July: Quarter Finals
Thursday 15 July: Semi Finals
Friday 16 July: Classification Matches
Saturday 17 July: Medal Matches
By BA Media