“I've been playing for 22 years. My first Paralympics was in 1992, this is now my sixth. This victory has been my highlight.”
Canada and Korea were eliminated from the men’s goalball competition on day five of the action from the Copperbox.
Both sides knew that only a win in their final group game would be enough to stand any chance of survival, however neither team was able to come up with the result.
Canada were beaten 3-1 by world champions China. After a poor start, the Canadians found themselves 2-0 down in little more than three minutes. From there it was an uphill task and one that was ultimately beyond them.
Canada’s Brendan Gaulin said after the game admitted that defeat was hard to take.
“It was tough to walk off the court without a smile,” Gaulin said.
“It has been a great experience. It was great to play in front of my family at this high level. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.”
Korea went down 5-3 to Belgium in their last game of the tournament. The teams went into the break level at 3-3, but Korea were left to rue missed opportunities in the second half, when they hit the goal frame twice and missed two penalties.
Korea’s Kim Chul-Hwan said: “It is a very sad day for us as we had done all the training. And it is particularly important for me because I'm not sure if I could play in another Paralympic Games.”
Elsewhere, Iran topped group B with 12 points after a solid 4-2 win over Algeria. Iran have lost only once in the group stage, to Belgium, and will be considered a team to avoid in the knockout stages.
In group C of the women’s competition China thrashed bottom of the table Denmark 8-1 to book their place in the quarter-finals.
World champions China look in emphatic form and have only conceded two goals on the way to winning their opening three matches.
Brazil beat Finland 5-4 to guarantee their progression from group C, the result eliminates Denmark. Having seen Denmark lose to China beforehand, Finland knew they were already guaranteed their place in the last eight.
However, Brazil still had work to be done and took control of the game to ensure they would be joining the Finn’s in the last eight.
Jen Armbruster scored a hat-trick in the USA’s 3-0 win over Australia. The result eliminates Australia at the group stages on their first goalball appearance at the Paralympics since Sydney 2000.
Speaking after the game Armbruster said: “I've been playing for 22 years. My first Paralympics was in 1992, this is now my sixth. This victory has been my highlight.”
Canada beat Japan 1-0 in a hard fought match to confirm their progression through to the knockout rounds. Amy Kneebone scored the decisive goal in a strong defensive display from the Canadians.