Santiago 2023's Great Moments: USA Dominates in Wheelchair Basketball, Rugby

In the two wheelchair team sports at Santiago 2023, the gold went to the North Americans with just one loss in 18 matches.

Sunday, November 26th, 2023.- In Santiago 2023, two wheelchair team sports that caught the public's attention for their extraordinary level and competitive matches were present: wheelchair basketball for both women and men, and mixed rugby. And both, or rather all three considering the two branches of wheelchair basketball, had something in common: they were overwhelmingly dominated by the United States. 

The Americans secured all three golds at stake, winning a total of 17 matches against just one defeat (in the wheelchair rugby preliminary round). 

In female's wheelchair basketball, the Americans swept their three group stage matches against Argentina, Peru, and Chile, scoring a total of 263 points and conceding only 48. Then, in the semifinals, they defeated Brazil 60-30, and in the final, they won a thrilling match against Canada 62-26. 

In the male's category, they also won everything. Three victories in the group stage against Colombia, Brazil, and Puerto Rico; a win over Chile in the quarterfinals, over Argentina in the semifinals, and against Colombia in the final. 

In wheelchair rugby, the United States' major rival was Canada, which even defeated them 46-41 in the group stage. Therefore, with four victories and one defeat, they finished second in the group behind the undefeated Canadians. 

Then, in the semifinals, they narrowly defeated Colombia 52-45, to take revenge against Canada by beating them 57-51 in a truly thrilling match. 

Written by Alejandro Pérez; translated by Paulette Bertín / Santiago 2023 via Photosport 
Photo by Sebastián Nanco / Santiago 2023 via Photosport

More news