Japan seeks to retain Paralympic goalball title

London 2012 champions will go for their second Paralympic gold at Rio 2016. 19 Jun 2016
Masae Komiya

Japan's Masae Komiya throws the ball during her the women's goalball gold-medal match against China at the Copper Box at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

ⒸGetty Images

“If we want to reach the top of the world in goalball once again in Rio, we will need to make a huge effort.”

The Japanese women’s goalball team aims to repeat their London 2012 gold medal at September’s Paralympic Games following their win at the 2015 IBSA Goalball Asia-Pacific Championships.

Japan’s Akiko Adachi, who will compete at her third successive Paralympics this year, believes Rio 2016 will be the most difficult competition she will have ever played.

“The world’s strongest teams will participate in the 2016 Paralympics,” said Adachi.

“That will make it the hardest competition and we will have to play our best game to be able to defeat them.

“Winning the regional competition in 2015 was very important for us because we could defeat our big rival China and qualify for Rio 2016.”

Reigning world champions USA and two-time Paralympic silver medallists China will be ready for the challenge. But the 32-year-old is convinced Turkey, who Japan lost to in the bronze-medal match at the 2014 World Championships, will be the toughest opponent.

“We gave everything we could and played at the top level in that match, but were outperformed by Turkey,” she said.

“If we want to reach the top of the world in goalball once again in Rio, we will need to make a huge effort.”

Four years ago, Adachi scored the game-winning goal in the London 2012 final against world champions and favourites China.

“We had a lot of pressure but put every effort into winning that game,” she said.

“In the end, I was full of joy. If you wish something with all your heart, it will eventually come true.”

With three months to go until the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Adachi is determined to repeat that success.

“We are preparing for the competition the best we can, but anything can happen during a goalball match,” she said.

“We will have to prove that we are the world’s best team to win the gold medal.”


Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.