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Sydney lands 2018 Wheelchair Rugby World Championships

The International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) has awarded hosting rights for its 2018 World Championships to the Australian city of Sydney.

The event will be staged at the Sydney Olympic Park complex from August 4-10 and will comprise 12 teams. The qualification process for the tournament will begin at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“The success of our bid is a milestone for Australian sport and comes with significant support from our partners the Australian Rugby Union and Australian Defence Force,” Jenni Cole, chief executive of Disability Sports Australia, which submitted the successful bid for the event, said.

“We are delighted that the championship will bring the world’s most elite wheelchair rugby competition to the Australian public.”

The announcement was made at yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) opening of the GIO Fierce 4 Rugby Wheelchair Rugby Nationals event in Sydney.

The World Championships are held every four years, with Odense in Denmark having staged the most recent edition in 2014. Australia picked up its first world title in Odense by defeating Canada 67-56 in the final.

Sydney hosted the Paralympic Games in 2000, which marked the first time wheelchair rugby had been awarded full-medal status at the showpiece event. Australia is also the defending Paralympic champion, having beaten Canada 66-51 in the final at the 2012 Games in London, England.