TWO Paralympic Games campaigns. Two gold medals.
Camperdown export Josh Hose and his Australia Steelers teammates completed the rare feat of consecutive golds at the Paralympics following a thrilling overtime win against the United States in the early hours of Monday morning AEST.
The reigning champions triumphed 59-58 over the powerful United States in the nail-biting clash.
Neither team allowed the other any breathing space in the titanic battle which went goal-for-goal, with scores locked on 49 apiece at the end of regular time, forcing the match into overtime.
Consecutive goals saw the US pull in front for the first time since the third quarter with just 47 seconds left on the clock, but a final-second goal to Chris Bond squared the ledger again.
The Aussies edged in front in the second period of overtime with a goal to Ryley Batt with 49 seconds left.
An awesome defensive effort from the Steelers ensured it was the last score of the game, securing the gold medal.
Hose’s cousin Sam West was among the home-base support crew proudly cheering Josh on throughout his Paralympics campaign.
“We had lots of family and friends over (in Rio) in a cheer squad … and (back home) we were all texting each other the whole way through,” she said.
“It was amazing – it was well worth staying up for.
“The amount of effort he’s had to go to for all the training and all the games leading up to the grand final he got time on (the court), it makes it all worthwhile.”
While Hose didn’t get court time in the decider – the Steelers barely changed their line-up – West said he made the most of his time in the lead-up matches.
“When he came on he scored goals and did a really great job,” she said.
West said Hose’s unofficial cheer squad – dubbed ‘Hosey’s Heroes’ – were looking forward to celebrating with the gold medallist when he returns to the country.
The Steelers’ win saw Australia finish the Paralympics with 22 gold medals, 30 silver and 29 bronze to finish fifth overall.