Women’s wheelchair basketball – GB

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FICTION

Blockers. One, now two, coming fast at me. Too late to get round them. Hear my team behind me, without seeing them. Two behind, one to the side. Throw the ball back over my shoulder, instinctively to the nearest.

I can sense from the movement of the people round me that it’s been caught. No time to look back as the chairs slam into mine. Dodge, going back, feigning left, go right. The ball’s still in play.

Another chair coming straight at me, then another. They fear me so much they put two on me. Sense their faces. All the anger they feel at the shit in their lives is being directed at me. The first chair hits mine imperfectly and tips over blocking the second.

Move forward. Get to their line, ready. Here, the perfect spot. The ball has changed hands again. It’s still ours, and coming. There’s still hope.

The ball’s airborne. It’s for me. Stretch out, using my one good leg to push against the straps that tie me to my chair. Got it on the tip of my forefinger, gently rotating it while I stretch away from the groping hands and prepare my shot.

Both hands. Throw. Watch as it goes up. Not perfect. It’s resting on the rim, spinning as it slowly tips in.

No time to watch its descent to victory. And no chance to get it as it comes through the net – the area beneath is solid with turquoise vests.

Turn the chair. Start the sprint for our defence even before the ball has been caught. Every opportunity matters. Whatever the score, there’s still time to turn it. And if there’s not, I’ll still fight.

There is only the battle. Nothing else matters.

Women's wheelchair basketball - GB team
The GB team won their match.

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