8 teams drawn for the 2019 European Championship
An important step toward the 2019 IWRF wheelchair rugby European Championship Division A was taken in March in Viborg, Denmark, where the draw was conducted.
The pool stage consists of two groups of four teams. As a host Denmark had the advantage to choose which group they wanted to be in. Denmark chose group B with Great Britain, Poland and Switzerland.
That left France, Germany, Sweden and Holland in group A.
The European Championship will take place in Vejle, Denmark from the 7th. August till the 11th. August. And the stakes are high. The two teams that will reach the final will automatically qualify for the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020.
The Danish assistant coach, Kurt Busk, is looking forward to play in front of a home crowd.
- There is no doubt that the goal is to qualify the team to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. And we really want to do it front of our own fans in Vejle, he says.
Vejle – the capital of parasport
Vejle is not just a random Danish city. The local government has made it a clear objective to become the capital of parasport. In 2015 the city hosted a successful European Championship in paratabletennis and it’s the same recipe they are using for the Wheelchair Rugby Championship.
- We are bringing the city together behind this event. That means companies, stores, associations and volunteers. When the entire city is involved it also means a lot of spectators will attend the games. The International Wheelchair Rugby Federation know how to make a great tournament, our job is to get people aware and involved, so as many people as possible will come and see, what these athletes can do, says Tage Schmidt, chairman of Vejle Parasport Council.
Vejle has dedicated 2019 to “The Year of Parasport” and throughout the year the city will host different events adding focus to all the different possibilities to be active when you have a disability.
Great Britain is defending European champions in wheelchair rugby and is also this time considered among the favorites. They are fourth on the world ranking followed closely by Sweden (6) and France (7). The rest of the teams: Denmark (8), Germany (11), Poland (13), Switzerland (15), Holland (19).
Tage Schmidt from Vejle Parasport Council conducted the draw.
France, Germany, Sweden and Holland
Great Britain, Denmark, Poland and Switzerland