Paralympic Basketball

I join Hamish and Margret at the North Greenwich Arena (Millennium Dome).

The day sees an early start. Like the day before, I take the Jubilee line to North Greenwich and the short walk to the North Greenwich Arena - otherwise known as The O2 or the Millennium Dome.

Once there I walk around the inside of the dome to get my bearings and get a much needed coffee before meeting Hamish & Margret. We then enter the main arena for the women's wheelchair basketball.

The first game of the day between Canada vs. Mexico (Classification Crossover 5-8) is a great introduction to women's wheelchair basketball and sees a convincing win for Canada 74 - 53. There's lots of crowd participation throughout the day from the compare including fan interviews, kiss cam, dance cam, bongo cam, Mexican waves and volunteers attempting to throw a few baskets at half time.

Great Britain vs. China (Classification Crossover 5-8) is the highlight for the now packed home crowd and included a guest appearance from Boris Johnson. Differences can be seen even during the warm up and unfortunately all the support couldn't stop China winning 72 - 55.

The warm up between Australia vs. United States (Semi-final) suggests a close game and we weren't disappointed. With support favouring the Australian team, the game goes to the wire, with a single point difference going to Australia 40 - 39.

Another close match is Netherlands vs. Germany (Semi-final) also suggested by the warm up, with support favouring the Netherlands. However, with a couple late scores in the dying seconds of the match, Germany win 49 - 46. This game shows the first equipment failure with two on court Formula 1 style wheel changes.

Unfortunately our tickets wouldn't let us stay to see the evening’s men's wheelchair basketball matches, including Great Britain - which we later learn lose to Canada. As we leave the arena we look at the time, realising that it's rush hour, we look at the restaurants within the Dome and agree on the Armadillo Restaurant & Bar:

• Quesadilla “Armadillo” - grilled, filled and folded tortilla with: chicken, rice, roasted veggies, bean chilli and melting Jack cheese… served with extra spiced rice and black beans with smoky tomato salsa on the side.
• Pecan, White Chocolate & Cranberry Pie.
• South American lagers, Pacifico and Brahma.

Following a look at the London 2012 shop, we head for the nearby North Greenwich tube station and take the Jubilee line home.


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