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Australia’s Hannah Dodd excited to be part of Commonwealth Games history

Hannah Dodd

Hannah Dodd says it will be an honour to represent Australia as Wheelchair Basketball makes its Commonwealth Games debut in Birmingham.

Australia won men’s and women’s basketball gold on home soil four years ago but the format has switched to 3×3 basketball for the first time at the Commonwealth Games and the green and gold are now targeting four titles.

Dodd, 30, is joined by Amber Merritt, who won a silver medal at the London 2012 Paralympics, Georgia Inglis and Elle Sabljack in Australia’s 3×3 wheelchair basketball team.

“It’s so exciting to be a part of history as the first wheelchair 3×3 athletes to compete at a Commonwealth Games,” Dodd, who suffers from sacral agenesis with upper limb dystopia, said.

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“It’s always an honour and privilege to put on the green and gold and I love every second of it. It never stops feeling special.”

Six-time NBL champion Jesse Wagstaff leads the Australia men’s team four years on from helping clinch the title in the traditional 5×5 format.

In the women’s 3×3 team, Alex Wilson is excited to represent her nation alongside Marena Whittle, Lauren Mansfield and Lauren Scherf.

“Representing your country is the highest of highs for me – there is nothing better than that,” Wilson said.

“To be in the green and gold, with Australia emblazoned across your chest and your name on your back, is incredible. I cannot wait to play with my team-mates and soak up the Commonwealth Games atmosphere.”

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The basketball events take place at Smithfield in the heart of Birmingham.

The 3×3 format is played on a half-court, with one basket, and consists of 10 minutes of fast and furious action.

“There are different tactics and nuances,” England’s Myles Hesson said. “Some people fare well with this while some people don’t.

“For a guy like me, it’s perfect because I’m not too small and not too big. I can do a bit of everything. It’s for players in between [sizes], I’d say.”

Canada’s men kick off the basketball action against Kenya on Friday, with Australia beginning the women’s action by taking on Scotland.

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