Britain sprung a surprise at the wheelchair rugby test event for the Rio 2016 as they claimed gold ©Ian Mollard/Twitter

Britain sprung a surprise at the wheelchair rugby test event for the Rio 2016 as they beat defending world and Paralympic champions Australia and London 2012 silver medallists Canada to the top of the podium at Carioca Arena 1.

The European champions claimed victory at a competition featuring hosts Brazil thanks to victories over Canada and the hosts on the final day of the event.

They overcame the Canadians, currently ranked the world's number, with a narrow 50-47 success before beating Brazil 58-34.

The British side had earlier proven too strong for Australia, claiming a tense 61-59 triumph, which followed their first success against Canada, clinched by virtue of a 57-53 scoreline.

Britain included the only female wheelchair rugby player to compete in the test event, Coral Batey, who was also one of four women to play in the 2014 World Championships.

James Roberts proved crucial to their rise to a shock gold medal  as he finished the Aquece Rio International Wheelchair Rugby tournament as top scorer with a total of 136 points.

The competition itself was widely praised by participants, coaches and officials, although Rodrigo Garcia, Rio 2016’s sport director, admitted there were “still things to do in terms of accessibility in the Olympic Park, and for this reason we did not have an event that was fully open to the public this time”.

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Coral Batley of Britain was the only female player to take part in the Rio 2016 test event ©Rio 2016

International Wheelchair Rugby Federation executive director Eron Main declared the event a “success” and that the “preparations and delivery went very well”.

“The athletes liked the event a lot, as did the International Federation,” Rio 2016 wheelchair rugby competition manager Daniela Coelho added.

“We also tested transport, as well as arrivals and departures at the airport, and these operations were very much praised.”

Concerns in the build-up to this summer’s Paralympic Games, due to take place from September 7 to 18, have largely centred on the struggle with ticket sales.

It was reported last month that 90 per cent remain unsold.

Rio 2016 organisers have also been urged to fully engage with the Brazilian public following a latest Project Review inspection by the International Paralympic Committee.