Australia take wheelchair rugby gold
Favourites Australia on Sunday beat Canada to take the gold medal in the wheelchair rugby final, as the London Paralympics came to a close.
The Aussies' star player Ryley Batt was in supreme form, scoring 37 points to take his overall tally to 160 from five tournament starts in a match where the Canadians had an uphill battle after ending the first quarter 18-11 down.
Australia won silver in Beijing four years ago behind the United States, whom Canada beat to get into the final. The US team took bronze after beating Japan in the third-place match.
A relieved Batt, who played at the Athens Paralympics in 2004 at the age of just 15, described the win as "third time lucky" – and a much sought-after improvement on second-place last time round.
"You can only go one better than silver and that's a gold, and I know I've trained so hard over the last four years and so has the team to get to this point and it's finally paid off," the 23-year-old told reporters.
Batt said he was unaware of his remarkable scoring tally in the final and paid tribute to his teammates.
"It's fantastic to score goals of course but the work of the boys out there who were screening for me – the low-pointers out there, the mid-pointers, high-pointers – they've all done a fantastic job, and they allow me to look good on court when they probably do all the work for me," he added.
Canada's Patrice Dagenais suggested that Saturday's game against their north American rivals may have taken it out of them.
"We had a tough game yesterday against the United States and we spent a lot of energy on that game. Today we came out maybe a little bit flat, but everyone on this team worked really hard and it's a team effort," the 28-year-old said.
"Obviously, we wanted gold but we got silver and we're happy. It's a lot of work to put in and to get a medal is totally worth it."