Great Britain claim wheelchair basketball bronze on final day of Tokyo Games
Bronze for Great Britain in basketball and badminton brought down the curtain on a medal-laden campaign at the Tokyo Paralympics.
GB finished as runners-up in the overall table for the second successive Games following a total of 124 podium places: 41 gold, 38 silver and 45 bronze.
The men’s wheelchair basketball team, who train at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, clinched the country’s penultimate medal in Japan by defeating Spain 68-58 in their third-place play-off.
Gaz Choudhry – who has been coaching the team after head coach Haj Bhania tested positive for Covid-19 prior to departure to Japan – was once again GB’s top scorer, registering 19 points, with Terry Bywater adding 14.
“All we’ve done with this medal is validate this team to the outside, but for us internally, we were validated already,” said Choudhry.
“This bronze medal is for everyone else. We know where we were but, now we’ve won it, it definitely feels more than a bronze.
“It was the collective identity of this group. We’ve had so many knock backs all summer. We relied on that experience of being resilient and being courageous.”
Krysten Coombs then had the final say with the shuttlecock.
He bounced back from Saturday’s semi-final loss to second seed Krishna Nagar by coming from a game down to beat Brazil’s Vitor Goncalves Tavares 12-21 21-10 21-16 in the SH6 bronze medal match.
“It’s a dream come true. To be able to come away from these amazing Games with a bronze medal, it’s just unreal,” said Coombs.