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Canada Finishes Day 1 of Canada Cup 1-1; USA, Japan and Australia unbeaten

(Richmond, BC) – After racking up a win and a loss at the 2012 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament today, Canada must win against Belgium tomorrow to advance to the medal round.

Canada began the day with a thrilling 47-46 victory over Sweden in a game that saw plenty of hits and fouls. Though Canada was down by two points with three minutes to play, the team staged an impressive comeback by forcing several turnovers. Though Sweden brought the game to within one point, Canada was spurred on by the energy of a sold-out crowd, including students from Gilmore Elementary School, to maintain the victory.

“We have some great veteran leadership on this team and they really came together to win when it counted,” said Head Coach Kevin Orr after the game. “You can’t ask for better preparation for London than a one-point comeback win against such a great team.”

Next, Canada took on 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championship Silver Medallists Australia. The Australians boast superstar Ryley “The Battman” Batt, along with heavy-hitter Chris Bond, and this combination proved difficult for the Canadians.

“We had some great moments and some moments that needed improvement,” said Coach Orr. “Right now, we’ll focus on getting a win against Belgium and qualifying for the medal rounds.”

In other Canada Cup news, Australia, the USA narrowly avoided an upset by Great Britain, and Japan finished pool play undefeated. Schedules, recaps and statistics are available at www.canadacupwcrugby.com . Action continues tomorrow at 9:30 am. Canada will play Belgium at noon in the final round-robin match, then will play in the evening depending on seeding.

For more information or to schedule a media interview, please contact:

Arley McNeney

Communications Coordinator

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 778-788-9091

ABOUT CANADA CUP: The Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament is the most elite wheelchair rugby event after the World Championships and Paralympics. Since 2004, it has been hosted biannually by BC Wheelchair Sports Association. The 2012 Canada Cup will be held from June 21 - 23 at the Richmond Olympic Oval and will feature all eight teams competing at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. As the last stop before the London, the stakes will be particularly high this year as teams battle for the mental edge. For more information, please visit www.canadacupwcrugby.com.

ABOUT WHEELCHAIR RUGBY: Wheelchair rugby is a team sport for male and female athletes with a physical disability that affects at least three limbs. This physically demanding full-contact team sport is played indoors on a hardwood basketball court between two teams of four players. It is a unique sport that combines some elements of basketball, handball, and ice hockey. Wheelchair rugby was created in Canada in 1977 by a group of athletes with a disability in Manitoba and was originally known as “murderball.”