Australia and Germany arranged a gold medal showdown after defeating their respective opponents on Thursday night in the semifinals of the 2012 London Paralympic Games women’s wheelchair basketball.
Australia, the 2008 bronze medalist in Beijing, displayed tremendous composure down the stretch to escape with a dramatic 40-39 win over defending champion USA in their semis showdown.
The Aussies were in full control and looked headed to a comfortable win, but the Americans gave them a huge scare down the stretch. USA unleashed a 9-0 run to pull within a point with 27 seconds left in the game, but Australia managed to hold on to the win, dethroning the Americans.
“The basketball Gods are on our side,” Australia coach John Triscari said. “It comes down to the ball to drop and the right things to go your way because this competition is so tight. But holding the number one team in the world to two points in the third quarter: that is where the job was done.”
With the win, the Aussies arranged a title showdown with Germany who also posted a thrilling win.
After letting Netherlands dominate them in the second quarter, Germany managed to escape with a pulsating 49-46 win to advance to their second-straight Paralympic Games gold medal match.
Marina Mohnen spearheaded Germany’s attack with her 20 points and five rebounds and the team captain is looking forward to their showdown with the Aussies.
“They play very tough defense,” Mohnen said referring to Australia. “They really try to destroy the teams they play against. We’ll see what works tomorrow.”