Wheelchair Basketball Canada select London 2012 hopefuls
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
January 24 - Wheelchair Basketball Canada has announced a 26 strong pool of athletes from which they will select their participants for London 2012.
The women's team are going to be based in Winnipeg from June 4, the first time in the history of their programme that they will have done so.
Alongside the women in the squad, 12 men were selected from an overall pool of 37 athletes who attended a camp from January 9-13 in Las Vegas.
"We want to re-establish Canada as the world leader in wheelchair basketball, and we are confident in the talented teams our coaches have assembled," said Paul Zachau, Wheelchair Basketball Canada's high performance director.
"With the ongoing support of our key partners Own the Podium and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) we are poised for success in 2012 and beyond."
The men's team won silver at the Beijing 2008 Games, and are hoping that they can go one better in London later this year.
Canada has selected nine players with Paralympic experience for the men's squad, in order to achieve that objective.
Jerry Tonello, the men's head coach, said: "Our goal is to win the gold in London and to do that we've got competitions lined up against the best teams in the world – definitely all top five teams.
"And we plan on pushing our athletes a lot harder over the next eight months in terms of fitness and tactical preparation."
The women last picked up a medal at the Paralympics in Athens 2004, claiming bronze, and their coach Bill Johnson said: "We have a good mix of experienced players and less experienced players that are really hungry to win.
"We are looking forward to kicking off the next phase of our training toward London.
"We are really confident we are on the right path and we are going to bring home the gold medal."
The country's men were drawn with hosts Great Britain, as well as Germany, Poland, Japan and Colombia in Pool B of the wheelchair basketball tournament at London 2012.
In the women's draw, Canada will again face Britain, as well as Australia, Brazil and the Netherlands.
Full selection pool
Women: Alarissa Haak (Edmonton), Ashley Baerg (Dalmeny), Cindy Ouellet (Quebec), Elaine Allard (St Eustache), Elisha Williams (Burnaby), Katie Harnock (Elmira), Jamey Jewells (Donkin), Janet McLachlan (Vancouver), Jessica Vliegenthart (Kamloops), Kendra Ohama (Calgary), Maude Jacques (Ste-Catherine), Tamara Steeves (Mississauga), Tara Feser (St Albert), Tracey Ferguson (Richmond Hill)
Men: Abdi Dini (Scarborough), Adam Lancia (Toronto), Brandon Wagner (Burlington), Chad Jassman (Calgary), Dave Durepos (Fredericton), David Eng (Montreal), Joey Johnson (Lorette), Patrick Anderson (Fergus), Richard Peter (Vancouver), Robert Hedges (Wonowon), Tyler Miller (Kitchener), Yvon Rouillard (Montreal)
January 2012: London 2012 wheelchair basketball takes place at special ceremony
January 2012: Canada wheelchair basketball teams head to Vegas for London 2012 preparation camp