February 21 – Hosts Canada will take on reigning Paralympic champions Germany in the pool stages of this year's Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championships, after the draw was made today.
Triple Paralympic champions Canada, who won bronze last time out in Birmingham in 2010, are hoping to make home advantage count as they aim for a fifth World Championship crown at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto from June 20 to 28.
Brazil, China, Great Britain and Japan have also been drawn in Pool B and will be expected to battle it out for position behind the big two.
Meanwhile, Pool A has thrown up some real competitive encounters as it contains the reigning world champions and the silver and bronze medallists from London 2012.
The United States will head to Toronto determined to defend the title they won after a close final victory over the Germans in 2010, while they will also be looking to make up for a disappointing showing at London 2012 where they missed out on making it three Paralympic titles in-a-row – not even making the podium.
Australia will enter the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) tournament buoyed by their silver medal in London and their Asia Oceania Zone Championships victory last year.
The Aussies have always been a force in the big international competitions with a number of silver and bronze medals in recent years, but they are yet to make that final step and claim a gold medal at any of the big two Championships.
The Dutch have failed to medal at a World Championships but have medalled at four Paralympic Games, securing bronze last time out at London 2012.
France, Mexico and Peru are the other teams in Pool A as Toronto gets set to host the largest women's World Championships yet.
This year's tournament will be the first time the Championships have been held separately from the men's since 1994, when the tournament took place at Stoke Mandeville.
Toronto hosted the first women's under-25 World Championships in 2011 and organisers say they aim to build on that legacy as they move towards the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, which will be held in Canada for the first time.
The competition schedule for the 2014 Women's Wheelchair Basketball World Championships will be announced in due course by the IWBF.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
January 2014: Canada announces women's wheelchair basketball squad for home World Championships
December 2013: Teams announced for 2014 Women's Wheelchair Basketball World Championships
October 2013: Toronto World Wheelchair Basketball Championships to target lasting legacy for Canada