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TORONTO, June 20, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team opened the 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship with a record-setting 83-53 victory over Japan on Friday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont.
Canada's 83-point offensive output marked a new team-high for most points scored in a single game at the Paralympic Games and world championships. The hometown Canadian side is in pursuit of an unprecedented seventh consecutive podium finish at the world championship, and the tournament is Canada's first major test on the road to the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Team Canada was led by Vancouver, B.C. native Janet McLachlan who finished with game-highs in points (28) and rebounds (21). Cindy Ouellet of Quebec City, Que. consistently found her teammates throughout the contest and collected 10 assists to accompany her 14 points. Mari Amimoto of Osaka led the Japanese side with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Katie Harnock, of Elmira, Ont., earned the player of the game honours with 25 points and spoke to the quality of the crowd when asked about playing on home soil.
"It was such an amazing feeling," said Harnock. "With that many home fans who were so excited; with the kids stomping their feet and singing, it was just amazing.
"That was a good win and a really positive result for us. You enjoy it for a little while, but then you need to refocus and get ready for the next game."
Canada's game followed the Opening Ceremony, in which 12 teams hit the hardcourt in front of an energized, sellout crowd for the official opening of the largest women's world championship in wheelchair basketball history.
The tournament runs June 20-28 and features the top players from around the globe representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru and the United States.
Canada will face Brazil in its next contest at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 21.
All games of the competition are being webcast live online through CBC Sports' free desktop video player and SportsCanada.TV's digital platforms, as well as through the official tournament website. Tickets are also on sale online and at the Mattamy Athletic Centre box office.
For more information please visit www.2014wheelchairbasketball.com / #2014wcbasketball.
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About the Event
Over 400 athletes, coaches, officials, delegates, and volunteers will attend the 2014 WWWBC that features 12 participating countries. Canadians can catch a sneak peek at the top 12 female wheelchair basketball players in Canada, including emerging local talent and highly decorated stars, preparing to compete in one of the most fiercely competitive and exciting spectator sports to be played at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
About Team Canada
Team Canada is in pursuit of an unprecedented seventh straight podium performance, remarkably, having medalled at every single world championship including the capture of four consecutive gold medals (1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006), and bronze medals in 1990 and 2010.
About the Host
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the host of the 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship. The event marks Canada's fourth opportunity to host a landmark international wheelchair basketball championship - having previously hosted the Men's World Championship in 1994, the inaugural U23 Men's World Championships in 1997, and the first-ever U25 Women's World Championships in 2011.
SOURCE Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Image with caption: "Opening Ceremony at the 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont. (CNW Group/Wheelchair Basketball Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140620_C8292_PHOTO_EN_41644.jpg
Image with caption: "Canada's Katie Harnock moves in for the basket against Japan on Friday, June 20, at the 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont. (CNW Group/Wheelchair Basketball Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140620_C8292_PHOTO_EN_41643.jpg
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