MAITLAND'S Brodie Smith has helped Australia progress to the women's goalball quarter-finals for the first time at a Paralympic Games following a dramatic two days of competition in Tokyo.
China beat Canada 4-2, meaning Australia avoided dropping out of the tournament by finishing fourth rather than fifth in group C.
"Our hard work has paid off, we are through to the quarter-finals," the Aussie Belles posted on social media on Monday afternoon.
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If the outcome was reversed, Canada over China, all teams would have ended up on the same amount of competitions points (2-2 record) from the preliminary stages with Australia missing the quarters based on goal difference.
Instead, the Aussie Belles have earned a historic spot in the top eight and will play either Turkey or the USA at the same venue on Wednesday (6:45pm, AEST).
Earlier at the Games, Australia opened with back-to-back losses to Israel (11-1) and China (6-0) before rebounding against Canada (4-3) and Russia.
"We just did it together. That's been our little motto for these Games - whether you win, lose, draw, whether you have a great game or your worst game, we do it as a team," three-time Paralympian Jenny Blow said.
China finished on top of group C with Israel second, Russia third and Canada fifth. Japan and Brazil also qualified from group D.
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