With a new year comes a host of new competitions in Para sport, and for goalball they will not come any bigger than the 2018 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball World Championships. Here is what you need to know.
1. Malmo will host the World Championships between 3 and 8 June. It will be the first time that Sweden stages this event.
2. A total of 16 men’s and 12 women’s national teams will compete. Both competitions will begin with a round robin, with the best teams from the group-stage qualifying for the quarter finals. The official draw will take place on 11 January.
3. It will be the eleventh World Championships for men´s teams. Germany won the inaugural edition in Voecklamarkt, Austria, in 1978, and Brazil took gold in the last in Espoo, Finland, in 2014. Lithuania and Germany are top of the historical medals table with two world titles each.
4. A women’s event was added for the second edition in Indianapolis, USA, in 1982, with the hosts reaching the top of the podium. The USA is the most decorated team, having won four world titles included the last in 2014.
5. With Lithuania and Turkey still fresh from winning their maiden men’s and women’s Paralympic golds at Rio 2016, respectively, a high level of competition is expected in Malmo this year.
More information is available on IBSA’s website.