Club America Cup Held in Curitiba, Brazil
After two days and three rounds of intense competition in Curitiba, Brazil, the 2013 Club America Cup Champion was known. Gladiadores Curitiba lifted the trophy undefeated.
In a round robin system, Gladiadores (BRA), Titans (BRA), Santer (BRA) and Tigre (ARG) played three matches each and gave fans a good first impression of the sport. Rio will host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and this tournament provided a strong boost for awareness in wheelchair rugby.
According to Gladiadores coach, Rafael Gouveia, this is the beginning of our promissing work and the gold medal represents more than the results on the court. "We managed to bring to court everything we practiced. I noticed a few points we can work on, especially in the match against Argentina. For me, this medal also rewards our off-court work. To give people an opportunity to play a game, interact with others, make friends and so forth is very satisfying, and I am very happy with the results we achieved today".
A very exciting match put together Gladiadores and Tigre, the runners-up. At the end of the second quarter, the Brazilian team was ahead by just one point (20-19). Players were constantly atacking the opponents' goal line and showed key work on ball passing and defense. The third quarter also finished with one point difference in the score. The intense dispute kept on in the final quarter. Details would determine which side would be the winner, and the Gladiadores were victorius by just two points, 44-42.
"Many players from Brazil and Argentina's national teams played today, and it was very interesting for us to see them on court. We have two very important championships coming up, the Metro Cup in Poland and the Pan-American in USA. Our goal is to play our very best" said Brazilian Wheelchair Rugby Association's President Eduardo Mayr.
Tigre 52 x 3 Titans
Gladiadores 66 x 30 Santer
Gladiadores 44 x 42 Tigre
Santer 45 x 16 Titans
Santer 23 x 53 Tigre
Gladiadores 53 x 15 Titans
Gladiadores - First Place
Tigre - Second Place
Santer - Third Place
Titans - Fourth Place
Article and photo courtesy of Rodrigo Figliolini