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Australia holds off Japan for bronze medal of women's wheelchair basketball
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08:40, September 16, 2008

Australia outlasted Japan 53-47 in the bronze medal game of women's wheelchair basketball at the Beijing Paralympics on Monday.

Despite 21 turnovers and a flurry of missed scoring opportunities in the fourth quarter, Australia proved to be a tough team for Japan.

Australia, the defending silver medallists, held on to victory as guard Kylie Gauci hit a clutch three-point shot and a foul shot, forward Sarah Stewart made a field goal and a foul shot, and forward Cobi Crispin made a free throw in the last three minutes of play.

"We could have beat United States in the semifinals to be in the gold medal game. Unfortunately we didn't, but we wanted to come out and win the bronze medal," said Kylie Gauci.

"It's unreal. A lot of people come to the Paralympic Games and don't win a medal, so to get third in the world is amazing. Hopefully in four more years we will be there for the gold medal."

"The game has changed. Canada is normally first or second in the world, and we kicked them out in the quarterfinals. Everyone is coming up and getting better. We're all getting closer to the top, and it's anyone's game," added she.

Forward Liesl Tesch contributed the most points of 16 and rebounds of 14 for Australia, while forward Mari Amimoto was the game's highest scorer with 18 points.

"It's unreal. We are third in the world, and it's a great achievement," said Shelley Chaplin, Australian forward.

"I think we were all really disappointed we are not playing in the gold medal game, but I think we came together because we didn't want to go home fourth.

"Japan played amazing, and congratulations to them. They played really well and gave us a great game tonight. It wasn't easy for us by any means."

Source: Xinhua

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