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SA’s IWBF U25 World Champs match postponed due to venue collapse

JOHANNESBURG – The opening ceremony and game one of the IWBF Women’s U25 World Championship has been postponed due to a structural incident at the venue caused by heavy rain and thunderstorms.

“An investigation into the relocation of the event is currently underway, and we will provide further information as soon as it becomes available” read the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) statement.

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The statement confirmed there were no injuries.

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“Whilst we are profoundly thankful that there have been no injuries, we extend our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this has caused and remain at the disposal of everyone impacted by this postponement.”

AmaWheelaGirls are currently at the World Championships representing Africa, and would have competed in the postponed opening match against Thailand.

Eyewitness News spoke to team manager Wiseman Kwenza Dlamini who is currently in Thailand with Team SA about how the team is doing.

“Everyone got a fright and the players were looking forward to the ceremony and the game. Thankfully everyone was waiting outside the hall when it happened.”

Talking on the moment the structure fell, Dlamini said he thought it was thunder until people started running outside.

“All the teams were waiting at the entrance and the final touch-ups were being done inside the stadium. We thought it was thunder but suddenly dust came out of the venue and a few people ran outside. It was a huge bang. There were no casualties.”

The international wheelchair basketball competition is contested by the top women’s under-25 national teams and it’s held every four years. It debuted in 2011 in St Catharines, Ontario.

In September, AmaWheelaGirls brought home a silver medal from the inaugural African Para Games in Accra, Ghana.

Artmotion S.Africa

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