Women’s wheelchair basketball team qualifies for Paris


The Spanish women’s chair basketball team qualified this Saturday for the Paris Paralympic Games after beating Thailand 76-35 with authority in their crossroads of the tournament that is being held in the Japanese town of Osaka.

The national team will thus be in its third Paralympic event, the second in a row after its presence three years ago in Tokyo where it finished eighth. He was in the Japanese capital for the first time due to sporting merits and almost 30 years after having premiered in Barcelona ’92, then because he was from the host country. Their presence joins that of the men’s team, silver in Rio 2016 and already qualified since the last European Championship.

This Paralympic ticket, much more complex to obtain because the participating teams had been reduced from twelve to eight, also shows the growth of the team in recent years that has led it to be more competitive and that after the last Games it had won bronze in the last two European Championships, his first great successes at an international level, and he also finished eighth in last year’s World Cup where he was able to beat major rivals such as Canada and Australia.

This Osaka Pre-Olympics distributed the last four tickets to Paris and the team coached by Franck Belén had earned the right to have a theoretically more affordable decisive match after finishing second in its first group, with victories against France and Japan, and defeat against Canada . This allowed them to avoid teams like Germany or Australia and face a Thailand against which they were clear favorites and against which they gave no room for surprise.

Spain did not show any nerves due to what was at stake and practically finished the game in a great first quarter where they already amassed an 18-point lead (27-9) and with a good performance by Isabel López (7 points). The Thais improved from there, but the Spanish did not let up and reached the break with the match well on track (44-22).

After passing through the locker room, Beatriz Zudaire commanded another attack on the scoreboard that found no response from the Asian team to seal the match (56-27) with the final ten minutes also dominated by Franck Belén’s team. Zudaire stood out in the current European bronze medal, bordering on the ‘triple-double’ with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists, well supported by Victoria Alonso (14) and captain Sonia Ruiz (10 assists).