The four strongest teams in men’s sitting volleyball lived up to expectations as they all sealed a third successive win to finish top of their respective groups at the World Championships in the Netherlands.
In Pool D, defending champions Bosnia and Herzegovina hammered Poland 3-0 (25-12, 25-9, 25-20) to end the group-stage unbeaten without conceding a single set. Rio 2016 bronze medallists Egypt beat Iraq 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 26-24) and followed them into the quarter finals.
Reigning Paralympic champions Iran did not disappoint and claimed a 3-1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-21, 25-20) victory over Russia* in Pool B. Despite losing, the European title-holders also advanced into the next round in second place.
Germany defeated Japan 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-11) to leave the Netherlands with one triumph.
Another big team who secured their place in the quarter finals is Brazil. The Americas champions showed no mercy to Kazakhstan, winning 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-23) to end as leaders of Pool C. Ukraine achieved a 3-1 (25-20, 25-14, 21-25, 25-14) win over Croatia to seal second.
In Pool A, China beat Rwanda 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-13) and USA prevailed 3-1 (25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 25-23) against hosts Netherlands, with both victors qualifying for the play-offs in first and second place respectively.
Competition continues on Thursday (19 July), with the men’s quarter finals taking place in Eindhoven and the women’s play-offs getting underway in Rotterdam.
More on the 2018 Sitting Volleyball World Championships can be found on World ParaVolley’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.