Debutants Italy continued their dream run at the Women’s Sitting Volleyball World Championships as they beat hosts Netherlands on Thursday’s (19 July) quarter finals to book a semi-final clash with Paralympic champions USA.
The Italian team prevailed 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-11) in one of the most thrilling games of the competition. It is the first time that Netherlands have failed to reach the last four.
Ukraine were no match for the USA, who won 3-0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-13) and are yet to concede a single set at the Worlds.
Another unexpected result came in the superb match between Russia* and Brazil, with the Rio 2016 bronze medallists losing to the European champions 3-1 (25-22, 25-17, 23-25, 26-24).
Russia will now face defending champions China, who achieved a 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-17) victory over Canada.
Reigning world champions Bosnia and Herzegovina keep alive their hopes of a fourth World Championships title after beating European title-holders Russia 3-1 (25-13, 25-20, 17-25, 25-22).
Americas champions Brazil showed their strength by beating USA 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-20) to set up a repeat of the 2014 Worlds final.
Meanwhile, Paralympic champions Iran defeated Rio 2016 bronze medallists Egypt 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 22-25, 25-15) and will now play against Ukraine, who secured a 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-20) win over China.
Competition continues on Friday (20 July), with the men’s and women’s semi-finals.
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.