Day One Preview
The time has come for the 2019 IWRF European Championship Division A in Vejle, Denmark.
Defending champions and tournament favourites Great Britain fine-tuned their preparation at DGI Huset and look in ominous form for a third straight gold medal. If successful, they’ll automatically qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Great Britain’s Nicholas Cummins said the team has settled in well and is looking forward to the tournament.
- Obviously we want to go back-to-back-to-back European champions, Cummins said.
- We want to be European champions and we want to get to the Paralympics, that’s what we’ve been working for. We can then go into the next year or so working on what we want to do in Tokyo.
It’s Cummins’ second European Championship, but he’ll be facing some rival teams for the first time.
- We tend to play the European teams more than other international teams, so we know each other a little better and there’s some crossover in the leagues, he said.
- Some Danish players come over to play in Britain, so there’s a bit more familiarity. Obviously they’re all really competitive teams and there’s a couple of new teams, I haven’t played Netherlands before and the Swiss I haven’t played too much. I’m learning a bit about them, but it’s going to be a really exciting tournament.
Great Britain meets Switzerland in its opening game on Wednesday.
Swiss assistant coach Steve Diederich knows they are in for a tough game, but believes they’re up for the fight.
- There is a lot of new players in their first tournament, we’re quite excited to see how they’re going to do, he said.
- In the Swiss team, it’s the team who counts. We don’t have one player who is the man on the court, but as a team we are strong. We need each other to compete and that’s what is important for us. I’m new with the Swiss team and it’s my first tournament with the team, but I know they’re very excited.
In other day one matches, host nation Denmark clashes with Poland, 2017 silver medallists Sweden take on the Netherlands, while France meets Germany in a repeat of the Metro Cup final held in Poland in July.
The opening ceremony commences at 2.45pm with a huge crowd expected to stay to watch Denmark in action at 4pm.
Day one schedule
10am – Sweden v the Netherlands
12.15pm – Great Britain v Switzerland
4pm – Denmark v Poland
6.15pm – France v Germany
All games will be webcast live on the official website: https://2019wrec.com/watch/