The wheelchair rugby world championship really got rolling on Tuesday as seven matches were played with the favorites all flexing their muscles.
Japan opened the day with a win against Germany, and took charge very early on leading 13-8 in the early stages of the first quarter with Daisuke Ikezaki controlling things before Japan pushed out to a 29-21 lead at the half.
That lead only strengthened as they pushed to a 43-28 lead before both sides put another ten points on for Japan to wrap up a dominant win.
France responded well to their defeat against New Zealand last night, holding the USA to just a one point lead at the end of the first quarter. That was not going to last long as the defending champions, and favorites, USA, just came out and dominated the second quarter to hit a ten point lead at half-time.
The United States just kept on going , pushing the lead out seven more points to 47-30 at the third quarter before pushing out to a 62-41 win, showing their title credentials.
In what was set up as a much tighter match than the opening two Belgium hit an early advantage at 5-4 before securing one more turnover in the quarter to push that lead out to two at the end of the quarter 14-12.
But the second quarter saw Finland fight back, getting the gap to one by the end of the second quarter before they fought back to level at 35 at the end of the third quarter.
That momentum remained with Finland as they condemned Belgium to theirsecond loss of the tournament in a tight one, winning 48-46.
The hosts took on the big guns of Canada and they started well with Canada only barely managing a 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter but the momentum with the Canadians and pushed out to a 28-22 lead at the break.
From there Canada simply tore Denmark apart, pushing their lead out to 41-34 before they managed an 11 point win at 58-47.
In the first battle of two teams in the top five of the world rankings, Australia started well and pushed out to a quick four point lead 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter, looking to send a message to the USA.
That trend continued in the second quarter, with the lead heading out to seven points at the half, upping to 41-33 at the end of the third quarter and a final win of nine points, hitting a 55-46 win to start the tournament.
Japan’s second match did saw them do much better as they started well, getting a marginal lead at the end of the first quarter, but they dominated the second quarter, getting a 36-30 lead, which allowed Japan to be comfortable, and cruise to a 62-50 win.
USA were forced to back-up but they started phenomenally well against New Zealand getting two turnovers to secure a 3-0 lead early before they showed their phenomenal strength as they were 16-5 up at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was much kinder to New Zealand but with an 11 point lead at the end of the first quarter, USA could simply cruise from there, 29-14 at the half before cruising to a massive 54-37 win, sending the ball back in to Australia’s court.