They've shared the basketball court for 20 years, and Tristan Knowles and Brett Stibners shape as crucial figures as the Australian Rollers chase gold at next month's Paralympic Games.
The Wollongong Roller Hawks duo received the call-up on Wednesday, with Knowles gearing up for his fifth Paralympics campaign while it will be Stibners' fourth Games appearance.
Knowles and the Rollers claimed a silver medal at the 2004 Games in Athens, before Stibners joined the side four years later when they claimed gold in Beijing. The pair have also been part of the last two Paralympics, clinching silver in London in 2012 before finishing sixth in Rio de Janerio five years ago. They have also been instrumental in the Roller Hawks becoming six-time national champions since their inaugural season in 2001.
"I can vaguely remember the first couple of training sessions that Brett and I had together about 20 years ago. You reflect on what both of us have been able to do in that time period and it's pretty special, and we've obviously become really close too over that time," Knowles said.
"We're part of a pretty proud squad, we go to Tokyo with very high expectations of ourselves. We feel like the preparation we've had and the 12 players we've selected on their day can win the gold medal. And that's what we're going for."
Fellow Roller Hawk Hannah Dodd has also been selected to represent the Australian Gliders in Tokyo.
It will be Dodd's second Paralympics campaign, after competing in equestrian in 2012. In her own words, the 29-year-old hopes for more luck this time around.
"Anything that could have gone wrong for London went wrong. My horse got sick on the way over, and then I followed suit and ended up in hospital about four days before the opening ceremony," she said. "It wasn't our best showing, but I think we still finished with two 11th places and a 12th. It was frustrating to know that we could have done a lot better with us both being at the top of our game."
Dodd - who has been part of the Roller Hawks since 2016 - will now get her shot at redemption as she leads a young Gliders side to Tokyo.
"I'm super excited to go back as a team athlete, rather than as an individual. I think that will be a really different experience," she said.
"We're taking a really young team. The Gliders didn't qualify for Rio, so this is our first Games in nine years. We're stoked to be going, our main goal is to make crossovers. Anything after that will be a bonus."
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