BASKETBALL Australia has announced the Australian Rollers and Australian Gliders teams ahead of the 2019 IWBF Asia-Oceania Championships, starting this week in Thailand.
Victorian trio Jannik Blair, Bree Mellberg and Australian debutant Teisha Shadwell have earned their spots in the Australian men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams respectively and will head over to Pattaya, Thailand for the event, held from 27 November to 8 December.
16-year-old Teisha Shadwell, who has starred for the Victorian Kevin Coombs Cup team in the last two Australian Junior Championships, has earned her first major benchmark tournament appearance at senior level after impressing at the U25s earlier this year.
Blair and Mellberg have both represented Australia on a number of occasions, with Blair representing Australia at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
The Gliders will compete against seven other countries from the Asia-Oceania Zone (AOZ) and will aim to improve on their ninth-place finish from the 2018 World Championships, with a clear focus on qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Two female teams will be able to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics with Japan automatically qualifying as hosts.
The Rollers will be head into the tournament having claimed bronze at the 2018 World Championships in Germany last year. Australia’s men have a proud legacy at the Asia-Oceania Championships having never lost the tournament in its history.
The IWBF Asia-Oceania Championships for the Rollers will form the qualification tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with three positions available after the automatic entry of host nation Japan.
The first round for both sides will be 30 November.
All games will be livestreamed via IWBF YouTube channel.