Germany enjoyed a double podium finish at their home 2019 Goalball European Championships ‘A’ in Rostock on Sunday (14 October) with their men’s team claiming gold and the women’s team settled for bronze.
It was also the maiden continental gold for the German men’s team who defeated Ukraine 6-2 in the finals.
Felix Rogge made his team’s intentions clear early on with an effort that found the post in its way. The breakthrough for the hosts came from the foot off Horauf, whose trademark drive from the centre settled into the nylon threading.
The lead was soon doubled when Feistle saw his shot bounce off Vasyl Oliinyk into the net.
Ukraine reduced the deficit with Rodion Zhyhalin scoring with a drive that bounced between Rogge and Feistle before settling into open goal.
However, Horauf then struck twice in quick succession to complete his hat-trick and give Germany a 4-1 cushion heading into the break.
Zhyhalin saved a penalty from Feistle early in the second half to keep his side in the contest and later also got into the scoring act to make the scoreboard ready 4-2.
Germany’s three goal edge was restored when Houraf’s power-packed effort settled into the right-hand corner.
Feistle, later also netted his third and completed the tally for the winners. Ukraine, however, will be pleased with their performance as the final berth has assured them a place in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Defending champions Lithuania won bronze in the men’s following their 7-6 victory over 2015 champions Turkey.
Altunoluk’s double hat-trick sees Turkey to title
Turkish team rallied from a four-goal deficit to beat Israel 8-6 in a goal feast to secure gold in the women’s category.
Sevda Altunoluk scored six goals with Seda Yildiz grabbing a brace. For Israel, Lihi Ben David scored all six goals.
The Turkish team stormed in the lead through Altunoluk’s fierce drive down the centre but found themselves behind when Ben David struck twice in quick succession for Israel.
The Israeli star then completed her hat-trick when her effort was fumbled over the line by the goalkeeper. It became four when she converted a penalty.
Altunoluk fired in penalties either side of seeing Ben David slam home as Israel led 5-3 at the break.
After the interval Altunoluk further reduced the margin and both teams were on level terms after she rolled home another penalty.
Yildiz completed an astonishing turnaround and the lead was extended through a fourth Altunoluk penalty.
Israel pulled one goal back when David’s shot crept in. The although Turkey’s star striker Yildiz missed a penalty, he scored later to ensure the gold medal was heading back to Turkey.
Turkey were competing in their fourth successive final after winning gold in 2015, silvers in 2013 and 2017.
Altunoluk finished the Championships as the leading scorer with 38 goals while Ben David ended as joint second with 32 goals.
With Turkey already qualified for Tokyo 2020 thanks to their silver medal from the 2018 IBSA Goalball World Championships, Israel took the women’s ticket on offer.
The German women claimed bronze as they thrashed Great Britain 8-2.
Ten men’s and 10 women’s teams from 15 countries competed for titles in Rostock, with the added bonus of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games slots for those teams not already qualified.
Results are available at the official Championships website.