After Tenerife was announced as the host of the European Championships earlier this week, Hamburg was announced as the host of the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) announced on Wednesday.
That tournament will be held in the summer of 2018, a year after the European and other zonal championships. The World Championships will be held later in the summer as it will be 17-26 August in Hamburg, Germany.
The decision was actually taken in Rio in September 2016 but the announcement was held off until Wednesday to stagger the announcements together. There will be a slight gender imbalance as there will be 16 men’s and 12 women’s teams in the tournament.
Wilhelmsburger Inselparkarena will be the venue for the tournament in Hamburg, a venue that has hosted a number of concerts. It’s also a common venue for boxing events, as the venue used will be the ‘Halle’ which is part of a larger sporting and park complex.
In 2015 the men’s and women’s events were held separately, so 2018 marks a change to that with the two being played together in Hamburg. “I am pleased that Hamburg convinced [the] IWBF with its concept of how it would host the international tournament. With this we send out a clear signal for the support of Paralympic sports.” Said Hamburg senator for sports, Andy Grote, in a statement.
Australia will come in as the defending men’s champions, having defeated USA in Incheon in 2015 but failing to medal in Rio. Canada managed the win on the women’s side, in their home tournament but Germany will be confident of winning gold in their home tournament after silver in Toronto in 2015.
Hamburg wants to become a center for Wheelchair Basketball and this will help with that, making it the second major event hosted by Hamburg. Hamburg previously hosted the women’s European Championship and they beat out a number of strong candidates, beating Dubai, Tokyo and Los Angeles.