Harcourt’s Chaplin shoots for gold

LONDON – Harcourt’s Selley Chaplin and her Australian Gliders team-mates were shooting for gold in this morning’s women’s basketball final at the London Paralympics.

Australia and Germany took to the court at 6.15am (AEST).

Victory to the Gliders would complete the medal set for Chaplin after Australia won bronze in Beijing, and silver in Athens.

Chaplin celebrated her 28th birthday last Tuesday and has played a key role in the Gliders winning streak in London.

The Gliders withstood a spirited final quarter fightback from the United States to score a 40-39 victory in the semi-final.

Although she did not score a point, Chaplin’s defensive play and three assists were vital.

Australia and the US were 26-all at half-time before the Gliders surged to a 38-28 lead with a quarter to go.

One of the most exciting basketball contests in Paralympic history was not decided until less than two seconds to play.

Glider Kylie Gauci said the team planned to capitalise on Germany’s dislike of “chair-on-chair” play.

“They are polite (but) they do get very cranky at us when we hit them,” said Gauci.

In separate pools in London, Australia and Germany had not played one another since the 2000 Sydney Paralympics.

Meanwhile, Australia’s men’s wheelchair basketball team will play Canada in the duel for gold tonight. 

The Rollers beat Canada in the final four years ago, but will face a huge task in trying to limit the impact Patrick Anderson has in the final.

“It will be tough – Canada has a wealth of experience,” Rollers’ veteran Brad Ness said after the semi-final win. 

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