In the third quarter-final of the women’s competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, it was time for the 2018 World Championship Silver Medalist, Great Britain, to challenge the unbeaten Asian Champion, China.
The game was a rerun of the semi-final at the 2018 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships, where Great Britain had come out on top, and China were out in getting revenge for the loss in Hamburg.
From tip-off on, China displayed their favourite strength – lock-down defense, allowing GB to score as little as 14 points until halftime, as they went into the break, 27-14. China’s aggressive defence becomes tangible when looking at the opponents’ field goal percentage. In today’s scenario, GB’s offensive was disrupted to an extent that they only shot at a 28% rate.
In the second half GB still could not find any offensive rhythm; the game ended with a low score of 47-33 in China’s favour.
China’s Suiling Lin registered a double-double (13pts, 10 assists) in this historic win. China advances to their first-ever Paralympic semi-final to face the USA. Great Britain, visibly devastated, will have to find consolation playing in the Classification rounds for 7-8 place.
Reflecting after the game GB’s Amy Conroy said:
“That’s what the Chinese have done to the other teams: slow everyone down, stop everyone scoring.
“We like to play quick and they like to play slow. They slowed the game down and we did not get in our rhythm.”