With the official opening ceremony and game between Denmark and Belgium just 14 days away, it is crunch time for players, coaches and organizers ahead of what promises to be the most unpredictable and highly contested World Championships to date.
Event Chairperson of the Local Organizing Committee Mette Holstein Arnesen is very excited to enter the last leg of preparations, and looks forward to welcoming teams and fans alike to the “big dance” in Odense, Denmark.
“There certainly is a lot to look forward to for everyone involved. The fans can expect an action-packed, intense show from some of the toughest and most committed athletes in the world. We have and will continue to do everything in our power to provide the optimal conditions for these teams and players to bring their very best game forward and produce a thrilling tournament for the live audience, as well as viewers at home” Mette Holstein Arnesen says.
Denmark looking to surprise
Several teams including reigning champions USA, Paralympic champions Australia, and former world champions Canada have already declared themselves title challengers, and they can expect stiff competition from the likes of Japan, Great Britain and European champions Sweden. Even hosts Denmark, who in the past year have moved up from 12 to sixth on the IWRF World Rankings, might surprise a few people, according to player/coach Thor Johansson.
“We have improved a lot over the past couple of years, and today our setup is more professional and focused than it has ever been before. While USA and Australia might be in a league of their own right now, other teams are catching up, and I count us among those who are really starting to close the gap. With the help of the Danish audience, I think we will be stronger than ever in Odense. It will definitely be the greatest sporting experience so far for the guys on the team, and we really want to do well and finish in the top five, Thor Johansson said”.
Denmark faces off against Belgium at 4.30 PM on Monday August 4 in the opening match of the 2014 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships. That game is immediately followed by a match up between New Zealand and France, while Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Sweden and USA have to wait until Tuesday to jump into the action.