Rio Paralympics: GB name wheelchair rugby squad

GB wheelchair rugby player Mandip Sehmi in action at London 2012
Mandip Sehmi was part of the GB team at the London Paralympics

The 12 players hoping to win Great Britain's first ever Paralympic wheelchair rugby medal in Rio have been named.

Among them is 43-year-old Alan Ash, who will be appearing in his fifth Games, and 21-year-old Coral Batey from Bradford, the team's only woman.

Jonny Coggan, Bulbul Hussain, Mike Kerr and Mandip Sehmi also have previous Games experience.

The team finished fifth at the London Paralympics in 2012.

As well as Batey, the squad features six other debutants - captain Chris Ryan, Gavin Walker, Ayaz Bhuta, Jamie Stead and Jim Roberts, who all helped GB to victory at the 2015 European Championships, plus newcomer Ryan Cowling.

Wheelchair rugby basics
Wheelchair rugby (or Murderball, as it is also known) is played on a basketball court by teams of four. Teams can be mixed.
The ball is identical in size and shape to a volleyball.
A match consists of four eight-minute quarters.
To score, an athlete must cross the opposing team's goalline in firm control of the ball. Two wheels must cross the goal line for a score to count.
Contact between wheelchairs is permitted and forms an integral part of the game.

Ash, who appeared in the sport's first Paralympic appearance as a exhibition event in 1996 and again when it made its full Games debut in Sydney four years later, missed out on a place in the squad for the London Paralympics.

But he returned to action a year later and has been part of the squad ever since.

Batey, who has also played wheelchair basketball for Yorkshire, made her international debut in 2014 and is the third woman to represent Britain in the sport at the Paralympics after Josie Pearson (2008) and Kylie Grimes (2012).

The British team, who are ranked fifth in the world behind Canada, the USA, Japan and Australia won the recent Rio test event.

Squad: Jonathan Coggan, Bulbul Hussain, Ryan Cowling, Mike Kerr, Coral Batey, Gavin Walker, Chris Ryan, Alan Ash, Ayaz Bhuta, Jamie Stead, Mandip Sehmi, Jim Roberts.

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