Great Britain managed to add one more medal to the tally on the last day of sport at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. The men’s basketball team, under coach Dave Titmuss, beat the Netherlands 82-66 in a solid win to take the bronze medal.
Four years ago the team lost the bronze in the final seconds of the play-off in Sydney, so today’s victory was particularly sweet. "If ever there was pay back this is it," said Titmuss after his side’s 16-point victory today. "That defeat four years ago took months to get over. This is a great feeling. Now we can finally put that behind us."
Wigan’s Jon Pollock was the side’s top scorer, notching up a total of 31 points. "I’ve dreamt of winning a Paralympic medal for 12 years, since I started playing the game," said the 27 year-old. "And to end my international career with a medal, I am over the moon."
"We may not match the likes of Australia and Canada yet," said Titmuss. "But the standard here was better than Sydney and that was reckoned to be the best ever. We’re up there now with the best in the world."
In the final, Canada retained their basketball crown, beating Australia in the final, 70-53.
Unfortunately Britain’s boccia team finished outside the medals after a tough day of matches. The team of Nigel Murray, Peter Pearse, Susie Robinson and Anne Woffinden started the day in a good position, but a one-point defeat by Portugal in the semi-finals sent them into the play-offs for the bronze medal. Here they met Spain who went through to take the bronze 7-5, leaving the British team in fourth position.
In the final Portugal narrowly beat New Zealand 5-4 to take the gold medal.
After an incredible sporting performance over eleven days, the British team finished ranked second on the medal table behind China, with a total of ninety-four medals, including top ranking in archery and equestrian.