Japan wins first Asian Para Games Gold
By Chris Hockman
The first ever Wheelchair Rugby competition at the Asian Para Games went as expected as World number four, Japan took the Gold Medal in the competition that ended at Incheon on Wednesday night. They defeated Korea in the gold medal match, while Malaysia took the bronze medal earlier in the evening, defeating neighbours Indonesia in the bronze medal match.
Korea and Japan came in as huge favourites against two teams that had never played an international tournament and they showed their superiority early. In the first session the two giants avoided each other and both racked up big wins. Korea managed a 58-21 win over Indonesia while Japan defeated Malaysia 53-13.
The two big guns swapped opponents in the evening session and it was even better for Korea as they defeated Malaysia 70-26, while Japan defeated Indonesia 46-10. Those results put Korea in front at the end of day one, leading by five goals on the differential over Japan.
That set up a big first session on day two as the bottom two and top two took each other on to really start to see the standings develop. Malaysia took clear possession of third as they demolished Indonesia 54-22, while Japan showed why they are ranked fourth with a comfortable 53-40 win over Korea.
In the afternoon Indonesia improved but they still couldn’t break down a much stronger Korean side as they fell 32-57. Japan continued to dominate the tournament in the final game on day two as they beat Malaysia 49-19.
The places were sealed on Tuesday as Korea dominated Malaysia for a 73-23 win, to wrap up a place in the final, while Japan’s spot was already sealed but they still managed a 12-42 win over Indonesia. That set up the final session to be a preview of the finals day and it proved to be so even more than anticipated as Malaysia beat Indonesia 49-30 before Japan completed the double over Korea in a 60-32 win.
Those results found an almost exact copy on finals day on Wednesday as Malaysia won the Bronze medal and the game even contained the same number of goals as they managed a 50-29 win over Indonesia. Japan also had a matching performance in the final as they again hit 60 points but Korea improved, scoring 40 but it still had Japan winning the tournament by 20.