Paralympic gold medallists Lithuania beat Germany 6-3 to win the men’s title and Russia* defeated Rio 2016 champions Turkey 6-3 to claim the women’s title at the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball European Championships in Lahti, Finland, on 22 September.
Justas Bazarauskas, who scored Lithuania’s six goals in the men’s gold-medal match, finished as the men’s tournament top scorer with 32 goals.
The young German male team still rounded off a much-celebrated performance. “We can be very proud of the tournament we did. We did not lose gold but won silver,” said Germany’s player Michael Feistle.
Belgium reached the Worlds podium for the first time ever after beating Sweden 5-2 in the bronze-medal match. “We had been fourth two times, but never third. We are very pleased,” said Belgian head coach Johan De Rick.
In the women’s final, Sevda Altunolukwho’s scored three goals but defending champions and Rio 2016 gold medallists Turkey lost 6-3 to Russia.
“It was a very difficult match, we met a very strong team. But we trained hard and were ready for the final,” said Russian player Anna Shevchenko.
Israel secured bronze following a 2-1 win over Greece.
Full story is available on IBSA’s website.
*Editor’s note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games. For further information please click here.