Joy Haizelden is Great Britain's captain for the IWBF Women’s Under-25 World Championships in Thailand ©SA Images/British Wheelchair Basketball

Great Britain are set to begin their bid to retain their title when they face Japan on the opening day of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation Women’s Under-25 World Championships in Suphanburi tomorrow.

The defending champions have been drawn into Pool A, which also includes hosts Thailand and South Africa.

They will be captained by 20-year-old Joy Haizelden, part of the British teams that finished fourth at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and second at the 2018 World Championships in Hamburg - their highest-ever placing at each event. 

She was also a member of the side that won the gold medal at the 2015 Women’s Under-25 World Championships in Beijing.

"It is always an honour to put the GB vest on, so when the opportunity to represent my country arises it fills me with pride," Haizelden said.

"It symbolises all the hard work I have put in to be where I am today.

"Knowing that I, and the rest of team, will get to compete against some of best female junior players at the Under-25 World Championships is a challenge that we are eager to meet.

"Any major tournament is always a privilege to attend, but what I’m most excited about is the opportunity to showcase the talent of the GB under-25 programme on a world stage. 

"The fact that we have participated in three Under-25 World Championships is fantastic and a testament to the faith that British Wheelchair Basketball has in us."

Germany are one of the four teams in Pool B ©IWBF
Germany are one of the four teams in Pool B ©IWBF

Following the Opening Ceremony, Thailand are scheduled to go up against South Africa in the tournament opener at Suphanburi Stadium.

Also scheduled for tomorrow are the first two matches in Pool B.

Germany will meet Australia before debutants Turkey do battle with the United States, the 2011 champions.

Round-robin action is due to run through to Saturday (May 25).

Each team will play their pool opponents once. 

The pool standings will determine the line-up for the quarter-finals set to be held on Sunday (May 26).

The semi-finals are scheduled for Monday (May 27), prior to the final and placement games on Tuesday (May 28). 

This year’s event will mark the first time that a Thai national women’s wheelchair basketball team has competed on the world stage at either junior or senior level.

By hosting and participating in the competition, Thailand hopes to raise the standard of wheelchair basketball and help develop the sport for women in the country, as well as encourage more people to play the game.