The best 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams from around the world will face off, starting Sunday (15 July), for the honour to be 2018 sitting volleyball world champion and for a ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The 2018 World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships will visit five cities across the Netherlands with the winner qualifying for Tokyo 2020.
Over 300 athletes will be involved in the quadrennial tournament while 300 volunteers will also be involved helping in the organisation.
The men’s preliminary round matches will take place in Venlo and Eindhoven before the semi-finals and finals take place in the Hague on 21-22 July. While Arnhem hosts the women’s preliminary round matches before heading to Rotterdam for the quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals from 19-21 July.
Who are the contenders?
Bosnia and Herzegovina are the defending champions among men and will start again as strong contenders for gold, trying to take revenge on Iran after losing out to them in the final at the 2016 Paralympic Games.
In the women’s tournament a thrilling showdown is expected between defending champions China, who topped the podium in Elblag, Poland, in 2014, and Paralympic gold medallists USA, who defeated the Chinese team in the final at Rio 2016.
Bosnia and Herzegovina amazing recent record
Iran has dominated the men’s tournament having won six World Championship titles although Bosnia and Herzegovina claimed the honours in 2014 by beating Brazil in the final to claim their third World Championship crown in four editions. The Netherlands, who with Germany are the only countries to have participated in all 11 editions, are the only other winners having won the first ever edition in 1983 and again in 1989.
Chinese women on a role
The Netherlands, with Ukraine are the only countries to have participated in all six previous editions, dominated the women’s World Championships winning the first four editions up to 2006 before China have claimed the last two editions in 2010 and 2014.
Theatres of Dreams
The 2018 Sitting Volleyball World Championships will be a real spectacle with the Netherlands hosting the tournament for the fourth time. The World Championships are not only organized in different host cities but it will be played everywhere in large theatres that are transformed into fully-fledged top sports locations.