JOSH Hose has etched his name into regional sporting history by helping Australia clinch the wheelchair rugby Paralympics-world championships double.
The Camperdown-raised 27-year-old was part of the Steelers squad which beat Canada 67-56 in the world championships final at Odense, Denmark, yesterday.
The win meant the Brad Dubberley-coached side went unbeaten in seven matches and continues a power shift away from the northern hemisphere.
Australia has won the past two major accolades in wheelchair rugby: the 2014 world championships and 2012 London Paralympics.
Before that, the United States claimed three Paralympic titles and four world championships titles. Canada also has a world championships title to its name.
New Zealand, which won gold at the 2004 Paralympics, was the only southern hemisphere nation to taste success before the Steelers’ rise.
“I’m stoked to do the double — world championships and Paralympics. It’s a great thing to be part of Australia’s first world championships side,” Hose said.
“We knew it was going to be a tough match. All the teams here can take a game away from you if you’re not switched on.”
Hose said he was “somewhat” happy with his efforts. He didn’t feature in the gold-medal match but received game time in all the others.
He said he was keen to represent the Steelers at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. “(I want to) make the Rio team then take the gold.”
Australia had to fight hard in the gold medal match. Canada rushed to an early lead and scores were 15-all at quarter-time.
The Steelers edged ahead 32-27 by half-time before a match-defining burst late in the third term handed them a 48-40 advantage at the last break.
Steelers gun Ryley Batt scored 45 goals, capping off a sublime tournament, while Chris Bond (19) and Jayden Warn (three) also hit the scoreboard.
“World champions, Paralympic champions, this team just keeps getting better,” Dubberley told AAP.
“I’m so proud of our whole team. Not just the athletes but all the support staff. It’s a huge accomplishment.
“We’re really enjoying our success and we’re going to celebrate being world champions here.
“But as soon as we get home, it’s going to be all systems go for the Paralympics. I think there is still a lot of room for improvement before we get to Rio.”
Australia defeated Great Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Canada in its pool matches and accounted for Japan 60-49 in a semi-final.
Canada defeated USA in the other semi-final, winning 59-56 after extra time. But the USA bounced back to beat Japan 62-56 in the bronze medal match.
Hose, who became a C6-C7 paraplegic after an Australia Day car crash in 2005, is classed as a 3.0 player with the Steelers.
Players are classified based on their mobility, on a scale from 0.5 to 3.5. The four players on the court cannot have a mobility tally exceeding eight.