The Copper Box plays host to Invictus Games wheelchair basketball

13th September 2014


13 September 2014

20:30 – That's the end of another thrilling day at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Last night's wheelchair rugby was always going to take some beating but once again the Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, has delivered.

There's just one more day of action left in these Games and there is no doubt that tomorrow will be another outstanding day of inspirational sport.

And then, of course, there's the closing ceremony with some of the world's best bands. So catch your breath, compose yourself and get ready for day four of the Invictus Games!

20:24 – And finally it's Great Britain. They have delivered for the home crowd tonight and the the audience are thanking them for it.

All the teams come together to embrace and this is what it's all about.

20:19 – The winners are back out on court to collect their medals.

First up it's Denmark. The Danes have been a team that have certainly embodied these Games. Their never say die attitude has shone through and they are getting a huge reception as they wave to the crowd.

Next it's the USA and there are plenty of star spangled banners flying around the Copper Box. The Americans showed so much flair on their way to the final and really made today's wheelchair basketball a great spectacle.

20:10 -No one is moving an inch with the medal ceremony just around the corner.

20:04 - It's a party here at the Copper Box and everyone is dancing.

20:03 - They've done it. Gold for Great Britain. USA take silver and both deserve huge credit for the show they just put on.

20:02 - Mascot adds two to make it 19-9 but it wont be enough.

20:01 - If there was any doubt then it's just gone as Britain add two more.

20:00 - Hector Varela adds one from the line for USA but there's a minute left and surely that's gold for Britain.

19:59 - Have they done enough? It will take a lot to to come back from this but if any team can do it then it's the USA.

19:56 - The USA are flustered and Delvin Mascot misses a layup on the breakaway and Britain capitalise by going down the other end and scoring.

They add another two seconds later and the lead now stands at 17-6.

19:56 - The USA are flustered and Delvin Mascot misses a layup on the breakaway and Britain

19:53 - Britain are doing a great job mopping up any defensive rebounds and that is proving the difference at the moment at the USA continue to misfire.

19:51 - 'I AM INVICTUS' is the cry from the crowd and whatever happens in this half both both teams deserve the ovation they are getting.

19:50 – Charlie Walker adds another two with a minute left and Great Britain look calm and collected as the half time hooter goes.

Who saw this coming? The Copper Box erupts and Britain are ten minutes of play away from the gold medal.

19:47 – Charlie Walker goes to the line and increases Britain's lead. He misses his second but almost adds two from the rebound.

America break but fail to convert and Britain go straight down the court and score but the USA respond with a basket of their own.

Frantic stuff at the Copper Box and it's 11-6 to GB at the moment.

19:45 - What a start from GB! They lead 8-4 at the mid point of the half.

19:36 - This place is rocking. Not in the figurative sense either. The stands are literally shaking from the noise.

19:28 – The teams are out and this place is about to burst with excitement. Ready?

19:25 – There's one more match in today's wheelchair basketball and, while it needs no introduction, it's going to get one.

The USA vs Great Britain is just five minutes away and there is not a spare seat in the house.

Meanwhile, Denmark star Maurice Manuel has some moving words or the crowd.

“This was absolutely amazing,” he said. “Every team last night and tonight poured their heart out on that court and it's been fantastic.

“The crowd is amazing here, thank you so much for supporting this we all really appreciate that.”

19:19 – It's bronze for Denmark and it was them who scored early in the second half to break away to a 14-2 lead.

But Brun found his groove, bagged two baskets and got the French fans singing as they chanted 'Allez Les Blues'.

But Denmark held on and showed their class with Maurice Manuel adding a late bucket to take the final score to 16-7.

19:06 – Denmark are looking so solid and France couldn't match them in the first half.

Maurice Manuel has been everywhere for the Danes and has been integral in their 8-2 lead.

The French have struggled in possession and Denmark have been stealing the ball, forcing shot clock violations and have been collecting offensive and defensive rebounds.

Cecile Trompette's basket however has given Les Blues some hope and if they can score early in the second period and get Thomas Brun into his groove then they will have a chance.

18:44 – The Danish contingent have formed a line just outside the tunnel and they are waving their flags in anticipation of their team.

The players are lining up and peeking through the tunnel door you can see them getting pumped.

There is chair banging and high-fiving going on and there is the constant murmur of anticipation in the arena until the countdown on the big screen begins. 5,4,3,2,1...Here we go!

18:41: Lap of honour for both teams and the Aussies are slapping the hands of the adoring public.

They have been so much fun at this tournament as have the All Blacks.

The Copper Box is buzzing after that one and next up the bronze medal is on the line as France take on Denmark.

18:36 – Incredible end to this one. Australia were leading up to the last minute but David Sherriff's trip to the line levels the scores at 8-8 and with his second shot he gives New Zealand the lead.

With fifteen seconds to go Australia trailed for the first time in the match. They drove to the bucket but their buzzer shot bounced off the rim and the Kiwis sealed the win.

What a match!

18:21 – But that score is short lived as Ramsay adds a bucket of his own to give the Aussies a 6-2 lead at the break.

18:20 – It's 4-2 to the Australians and the two number 11s are having a good back and forth and Aussie Dennis Ramsay fouls New Zealand's David Sherriff who makes the trip to the line.

'Under Pressure' plays on the tannoy and Ramsay points to Sherriff but the mind games don't work and the Kiwi sinks the basket to get his side within two.

18:02 – First up tonight is a nice bit of national rivalry as Australia take on New Zealand.

Both of these sides have played the whole day with smiles on their faces and this is sure to be a fun way to start the evening.

17:45 – For anyone who doesn't know Great Britain have made it to tonight's gold medal match where they will face a very strong American side.

If they are going to win then they will need to pay special attention to Delvin Maston who has been sensational for the USA.

Last night the Brits managed to overcome the USA in the wheelchair rugby and they will be hoping for a repeat of that performance tonight.

The Copper Box has been right behind the Brits today and they will need that support at 19:30.


17:39 – We are about twenty minutes from the first match of the evening session here at the wheelchair basketball at the Copper Box.

There's plenty of spectators already in their seats and there is a steady flow coming through the doors.

This place is going to be rocking tonight.

16:29: That's the afternoon session complete and we have the final line-up for tonight's final set of matches.

First up New Zealand and Australia clash in the fifth place play-off and that's followed by the bronze medal match between Denmark and France.

And then there's the main event. The USA, who have been so impressive so far today, look to take gold against a British team who will have the full vocal backing of the Copper Box.

We've seen some great action so far and that looks set to continue as day three of the Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, enters it's final hours.

16:20 – Britain have done it and will play the USA in the final but that was so close.

The Brits are in the middle of the court doing some cheerleading but what a performance from both teams.

The Danes got within three but just couldn't find the points they needed as they lost 14-11.

So it's a repeat of last night's wheelchair rugby final and if it's half as dramatic as that then we are in for an absolute treat.

16:08 - This one is very evenly matched but Great Britain manage to edge in front and take a 10-6 lead into the break.

There isn't much between these two and it could go either way.

15:51 - I wonder who this lot will be supporting in our next match?


15:38 – Great Britain against Denmark in the second semi-final is next.

To say that the cheer from the crowd is going to be loud when Britain emerge from tunnel would be a huge understatement.

They just about managed to get the roof back on the place after last night but it's about to be lifted off once again.

15:31 - Wow. The Americans were always going to be hard to beat at their own game but the way they have just performed was so impressive.

Delvin Maston was calmness personified as he controlled the tempo of the USA and it looked effortless as he hit a buzzer-beating shot to seal a 28-6 win.

France are no pushovers but this USA team is very special.

15:22 – The USA are showing what they are about here and they start the match at a blistering pace.

They race ahead to an 11-2 lead at the break and start the second half as they ended the first and manage to score straight away.

Barring a miraculous comeback a place in the final is theirs. But if there is anywhere that a miraculous comeback could happen it's the Invictus Games.

15:10 – The day's funniest moment goes to one of the Australian team who has the audience in stitches during salute cam.

The camera comes to him and he gives a salute with his prosthetic leg which he happens to be holding at the time.

15:07 – For those not lucky enough to make it to the Invictus Games there is an incredible atmosphere of good will and fun that is pervading every event.

And if there was an image that summed it up then this is it. Australia's Dennis 'The Menace' Ramsay and France's Thomas Brun share a joke after their chairs clash during the final pool match. Great stuff.


14:59 - That's the pool stages done and Denmark progress after a 15-4 win.

But that's not the last we will see of New Zealand who will return this evening to play Australia in a fifth place play-off. What a match that could be.

The semi-finals are on the way and first up will be France against the USA.

USA are going all out for gold but Britain's David Scott thinks his side will have the edge.

“All the teams are unknown quantities. It’s like anything, you can up your game - last night the Americans really upped their game in the wheelchair rugby against GB and nearly pulled it off. But the best won in the end,” he said.

“The aim is definitely Gold. It’s a long way for these Americans to come and get silver isn’t it?”

14:47 - It's 8-0 to Denmark at the interval and New Zealand are struggling to match the Danes out there.

The Invictus Games are a unique chance for the public to celebrate the 'Invictus spirit' through sporting achievement and the tweets on the big screen show how much the people are engaging with the Games.

Plenty of support for the athletes and the word that keeps cropping up is 'inspirational'.

14:35 – The last of the pool matches is under way as Denmark take on New Zealand for the right to take on Great Britain in the semi-final.

Denmark have taken a 4-0 lead after five minutes and are looking good for their advantage.

14:13 – It wasn't to be for Australia who couldn't make up the deficit and lost 11-4.

But they were so entertaining and the crowd is giving both sides an outstanding reception.

It's all smiles from the Aussies and Mark Urquhart's words after the match sum up the Invictus Games perfectly.

“I guess all of us soldiers who are injured do this every day but just never give up,” he said.

“It doesn't matter what is going on just never ever give up.

“Being here is awe inspiring.”

14:01 – But what's this? Australia net and are within five with six minutes left on the clock.

Another basket now would make this very interesting.

14:00 – France's Thomas Brun is running the show out there as he nets again to give France an 8-1 lead.

This will be a big ask for the Australians now and France look like they might be heading for a semi-final match with the USA.

13:55 – 'Allez Allez!' were the screams coming from the French players on court as they scored twice to make it 6-1 at the break.

There's a few Tricolore flags flying around the arena and the French have a solid lead to take into the final ten minutes.

13:50 – It's a fast and furious start with both sides playing at a high tempo.

France took and early lead but Australia pulled one back after a trip to the line.

Both teams look like they are relishing playing out there and there's plenty of laughing and joking between the players.

13:25 – There's five minutes to go before play begins and the Copper Box is looking close to being full.

It's a great turn out already and when the announcer asks the crowd to make some noise they respond with an almighty roar.

When Great Britain make their appearance later this place is going to be rocking. Ear plugs might be needed.

13:15 – Prince Harry made an appearance at the Copper Box earlier and, along with Second Lady Jill Biden, took the time to meet the players.

No doubt he will be back later and rooting for Great Britain in their semi-final match.


13:10 – Welcome back to the wheelchair basketball in the Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover.

We are live from the Copper Box and the afternoon session is packed with crucial matches.

Australia and France take to the court in the first game and the winner will progress to the semi-final.

Likewise, the winner of Denmark against New Zealand will take their place in the semi-finals where they will meet Great Britain.

Britain and the USA are both already through after winning their opening matches and they will be in action as soon as the pool stages are done and dusted.

11:59 – That match signals the end to a great morning session that saw Great Britain and the USA make a statement in their quest for gold.

There's plenty more to come from the Copper Box and the afternoon session will see the final two pool matches where Australia take on France and Denmark go up against New Zealand.

After that there is the all-important semi-final fixtures which will decide who will go on to tonight's final and get the chance to play for the gold medal.

11:53 – Great Britain secure the win and in the end they do it in style 17-1.

They finish with a flurry and Geraint Price caps a lovely passing move that had the French chasinig shadows.

The Union Jacks are flying and the Brits do a lap of honour. They leave the court to a huge reception and captain Adam Nixon urges the crowd to 'keep the noise coming'.

11:40 – Good opening period from Great Britain who lead France 6-1.

It's all going to plan for the home side and the half-time break brings salute camera to the big screen.

There's some great efforts and when the camera picks up Prince Harry he obliges with a solid salute that brings a huge cheer from everyone around the Copper Box.

11:25 – The final match of the morning session is under way and if Great Britain can pick up a win here then they will top Pool A and avoid playing the USA in the semi-finals.

But France will be a tough team to beat and will be looking to make good progress in this competition.

11:12 – The USA pick up a 14-5 win which secures their progress from Pool B.

New Zealand found it difficult against a very strong American side but they definitely had the highlight of the match.

A shot with five seconds on the clock trickled agonisingly around the rim for what seemed like an eternity.

It eventually fell kindly for the Kiwis and when it did the Copper Box roared.

Prince Harry has arrived with the Second Lady of the United States Jill Biden and they are taking the time to congratulate every player as they leave the court.

Next up Great Britain (below) take on France.


10:50 – The USA are currently leading New Zealand 12-0 in the third match of the day.

New Zealand have found it difficult to get out of their half in this first period with the Americans putting pressure on their possession and forcing plenty of shot-clock violations.

10:30 – A huge ovation for Dennis 'The Menace' Ramsay as he addresses the crowd, explains his nickname and describes what it was like to take part in the Jaguar Land Rover exhibition wheelchair rugby match alongside Prince Harry and a host of famous faces.

“I'm out here to have fun and enjoy myself and enjoy the crowd,” he said.

“It's an amazing feeling to come out here and it gives me goosebumps every time.

“Playing in that match was incredible and it was so surreal when you're out there with the royals and the other celebrities. A once in a lifetime experience.”

10:22 – Impressive win for Great Britain who get their day off to a strong start with a 20-4 win over Australia.

We are yet to see what New Zealand and France can do but a repeat of yesterday's wheelchair rugby final between Britain and USA could be on the cards.

10:13 – The standard is so high here that it's easy to get sucked into the matches and forget the context of the Invictus Games.

But as Britain make the trip to the free throw line there's plenty of laughing and joking among the players that breaks the intensity of the action.

The spirit that the Games have been played in so far has been sensational and, not only are we watching top-class sport, but also inspirational stories of people who refused to be beaten in the face of adversity.

10:05 – That free throw really woke Britain up and they kept the pressure up on Australia throughout the remainder of the first period.

Two baskets and plenty of offensive rebounds have given the Brits a 9-4 lead at the break.

10:00 – Dennis Ramsay puts Australia into an early 2-0 lead but the Copper Box bursts into life as Britain net their first point of the day from the free throw line.

And if anyone needed an alarm clock in here then they certainly got it as Britain pick up back-to-back scores and take a 5-2 lead with four minutes left in the first period.

09:45 – It's a good win for the USA who come out on top 18-12 and Hector Varela reveals that the team have not had a huge amount of time to prepare for their Invictus experience.

“This team got together on Monday so we have not got a lot of experience playing together at all,” he said.

Next up is the first appearance for Great Britain who take on Australia.

Charlie Walker was inspirational for Britain during their wheelchair rugby exploits last night and he is back again today.

But so is Australian Dennis 'The Menace' Ramsay who was one of the true characters of yesterday's action.

His theatrical displays saw him sent to the sin bin on more than one occasion and he knows how to certainly know how to put on a show.

09:30 – The USA took a lead into the break and are 10-6 up midway through the second half.

For a non-contact sport wheelchair basketball is still rough and tumble as Maurice Manuel throws a hooked pass across the key before colliding with one of Team USA and toppling down.

He recovers well though to assist on defence as USA break.

09:15 – Wheelchair basketball retains the majority of rules from traditional basketball, including a ten foot hoop however there are a few differences.

For instance, travelling occurs when the athlete touches their wheels more than twice after receiving or dribble the ball.

First up today is Team USA taking on Denmark in Pool B. Maurice Manuel, who was so impressive for Denmark in the wheelchair rugby, lines up for Denmark and will be hoping he can improve on the bronze medal he picked up last night.

09:05 – It's day three of the Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, and we have seen some incredible and inspiring moments over the last two days.

Yesterday saw the archery competition take place and finished with incredible drama as Great Britain's wheelchair rugby team claimed gold with a dramatic last-gasp try.

Today the Copper Box plays host to the wheelchair basketball. And if you thought scoring was hard in traditional basketball then try netting with tired arms from a seated position.

This is a sport that requires strength, stamina, poise and determination and is sure bring more drama to these Games.