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Ready for the finals: Round up ECWA 2019 preliminaries

A round up by our reporter on site Dylan Cummings about the preliminaries of the European Championships wheelchair basketball women. The preliminary round of the women’s European Championships has just wrapped up and featured some amazing games in the great city of Rotterdam. For all results and the program, check this link.
For an overview of the results, stats and program check this link.
The Netherlands
The undefeated hosts predictably finished on top of the pool as they have beaten all of their competition so far. They picked up dominant wins over Spain, Turkey and France and narrow victories over their toughest competitors Germany and GB. Throughout the tournament Mariska Beijer has been consistently excellent by often dropping over 30 points a game and looks to continue to be a dominant force going into the semi finals and beyond.
pic by Eike Michler


Runners up in the pool are Germany who’s only blemish on their record is a marginally small loss to the hosts. Other than that they have put on a clinic in this tournament with big wins over Turkey, Spain and France. Katarina Lang and Mareike Miller are Germany’s towering forwards and they provide the team with unstoppable height and shooting presence. Both of them shot the lights out against GB to secure second place in the pool.

pic by Eike Michler
Great Britain
Great Britain pick up third place in the pool as they suffered two losses to the Netherlands and Germany but dominated the rest of the field. Although they picked up a few massive wins, overall, they have struggled to get their shots to fall whilst being efficient in other areas of the game. Despite this both Laurie Williams and Robyn Love have really upped their game in this tournament and have solidified their positions as offensive threats.
Amy Conroy (#10, Great Britain), Sonia Ruiz (#6, Spain); Great Britain – Spain, ECWA 2019, Topsportcentrum Rotterdam, Rotterdam (Netherlands) pic by Steffie Wunderl
The Spanish side may have struggled against the top tier teams in the competition but they done enough to secure the last spot for Tokyo with wins over France and Turkey. Victoria Perez has been a clutch shooter for her team often being the top scorer and a deciding factor.
Abraham Garrión (Head Coach, Spain); Great Britain – Spain, ECWA 2019, Topsportcentrum Rotterdam, Rotterdam (Netherlands) – pic by Steffie Wunderl
The French have not had the best offensive tournament just missing out on Tokyo qualification but did manage to beat Turkey. Grace Wembula has been unbelievably consistent for her team, really showing her talent and class at a young age.
However this team should be focussing in a new program towards 2024 when the Paralympic games will happen in Paris, France.
Grace Wembolua (#6, France), Joy Haizelden (#14, Great Britain); Great Britain – France, ECWA 2019, Topsportcentrum Rotterdam, Rotterdam (Netherlands) – pic by Steffie Wunderl

The side from Turkey have yet to secure a win at this competition but that may change in the 5th/6th place playoff game. The jump up from Division B to Division A has been difficult them, despite this the Turkish fans have been absolutely electric regardless of whatever the result is.

Turkish fans lighting up bengal fire; Turkey – Spain, ECWA 2019, Topsportcentrum Rotterdam, Rotterdam (Netherlands) – pic by Steffie Wunderl

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