Defending champions The Netherlands won their opening match at the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships ©European Wheelchair Basketball Championships

Defending champions The Netherlands got their women's European Wheelchair Basketball Championship campaign off to an ominous start as they thumped Spain 82-21 on the opening day of the event at the University of Worcester in England.

The Dutch team, bronze medallists at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, were led by a superb performance from Cher Korver, who topped the scoring charts for her team with a haul of 20 points, with Mariska Beijer chipping in with an excellent return of 19.

The result ensured The Netherlands surged to the summit of the round-robin group, which will see seven teams battle it out for four semi-final berths.

“It was the first game of the tournament and we also didn’t know anything about Spain because we haven’t played them in five or six years,” Dutch head coach Gertjan van der Linden said.

“However, we had a good game.

“All players played and that was our focus, so we will see what will happen in the end.”

The Netherlands began brightly and were 10-0 ahead after just three minutes, which proved to be an early sign of things to come for the Spanish, who failed to deal with their opponents' attacking threat throughout.

Germany also started their campaign with a victory as they beat France
Germany also started their campaign with a victory as they beat France ©EuroWBchamps2015/Twitter

Clearly keen to stamp their authority on the tournament early on, the Dutch produced a clinical display to end the second quarter 47-11 in front.

That all but sealed the victory but Van Der Linden’s side didn’t take their foot off the gas as they extended their advantage to a colossal 61-15 going into the final 10 minutes.

They were then able to find another level in the last quarter to record a thumping win and give the scoreline the emphatic feel their performance merited.

Germany’s women also got off to a winning start in what was a slightly closer affair with France as they emerged with a 74-51 success.

Following the first two matches, the Opening Ceremony was held, which included performances from street dancers and ballerinas.

Great Britain's women then followed The Netherlands in recording a comfortable win in their first match at the tournament as they beat Turkey 76-23 in the evening session.

Related stories
August 2015: 
2015 European Wheelchair Basketball Championship set to begin in Worcester
June 2015: Britain choose 12-strong women's team for European Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Worcester
March 2015: European Wheelchair Basketball Championships schedule announced
January 2015: Group stage draw made for European Wheelchair Basketball Championship
December 2014: Worcester Cathedral to host draw for 2015 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships