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Paris 2024 Paralympics: Blues wheelchair basketball team qualify for first time since 2004

Twenty years of waiting, but no more. France was looking forward to qualifying for the final stage of the Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball Games. This hasn’t happened since 2004 and the Athens Paralympics. And it’s done! Ninth at the World Championships last June and seventh at the European Championships in August, the French had to go through the Paralympic qualifying tournament in Antibes, where the last four places in Paris were up for grabs. And, having beaten Morocco this Monday (87-60), the Blues, now coached by Frank Bornerand and Stephen Kane (silver medalist of the same tournament in Atlanta in 1996 with Great Britain and recently arrived on staff as assistant coach), won precious sesame.

Historically, the host country has automatically qualified for the Games, but not for these 2024 Games. The Paralympic Committee and the International Federation have decided to reduce the number of participants in order to hold “high intensity” and “high intensity” competitions. at the highest level,” said Jérôme Rosenthil, Basketball and Wheelchair Basketball Manager at Paris 2024, during a press briefing. Therefore, only 8 teams will participate in this Olympic tournament (compared to 12 in Tokyo in 2021).

The Blues met last week in Spain for a preparatory tournament to work on their playing strategies. An investment that paid off as France gained momentum throughout the weekend on the Côte d’Azur. Having defeated Iran, Canada and the Netherlands in turn, the French finished first in their Group B. Everything was to be decided in the match against the Moroccans. In the first period, France quickly took over and scored about twenty points early. A stash that then had to be saved after the holiday. And thanks to calmness and reason, the French managed their emotions perfectly. At the buzzer, 27 points ahead. And great joy.

The matches, like the final stages of the basketball Olympic Games, will be held at the Bercy Arena (12 Paris) from August 29 to September 8. And with such a manifested mood, the desire for a medal does not seem utopian.

Source: Le Parisien

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