Rio 2016 preview: goalball

Men’s world champions Brazil will begin their quest for Paralympic gold v Sweden, whilst women’s London 2012 gold medallists Japan will make their debut v Israel. 07 Sep 2016
General view of the Future Arena.

The Future Arena will host the goalball events at September’s Paralympic Games

ⒸBuda Mendes/Getty Images

The goalball Rio 2016 competition will take place in the Future Arena, located within Barra Olympic Park, in Barra da Tijuca, one of the most well-known neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro.

The preliminary games will be contested between 8 and 13 September. The four best from each group will advance into the quarter-finals, which will be played on 14 September, followed by the semi-finals on 15 September and the finals on 16 September.

In the men’s event, Brazil will be joined by African champions Algeria, Canada, Germany and Sweden in Group A. Reigning Paralympic gold medallists Finland were drawn with European champions Turkey, USA, Asian champions China and Lithuania in Group B.

The opening game in the men’s event will pit world champions Brazil against Sweden, who seek to return to the podium after being eliminated in the group-stage at London 2012. The Rio hosts will begin their quest for gold to cure a bittersweet loss to Finland in the London 2012 gold-medal match.

In the women’s event, Brazil will play against the USA, reigning Paralympic gold medallists Japan, Algeria and Israel in a tough-looking Group C, whilst Group D features European champions Turkey, London 2012 silver medallists China, Australia, Canada and Ukraine.

Home fans will get to see the Brazilian team facing world champions USA, who aim to win a third Paralympic gold after a disappointing performance at the 2012 Paralympics, on the first day of competition.

London 2012 gold medallists Japan will make their debut against Israel. Akiko Adachi will lead the Japanese team again, as she did at the Paralympics four years ago, when she scored the decisive goal against China in the final.

Location: Future Arena – Barra Olympic Park

Schedule: 8-16 September

Mark your calendars for…

Thursday, 8 September

• 09:00-10:00 Men’s preliminaries: Brazil vs. Sweden

• 17:30-18:30 Men’s preliminaries: Finland vs. Lithuania

Saturday, 10 September

• 14:30-15:30 Women’s preliminaries: China vs. Turkey

Thursday, 15 September

• 13:30-21:00 Men’s and Women’s semi-finals

Friday, 16 September

• 13:30-21:00 Men’s and Women’s medal-matches

Ones to watch:


• Cai Changgui (CHN): He was part of the team that won gold at Beijing 2008 and aims to repeat such success in Rio.

• Erkki Miinala (FIN): The 30-year-old will be looking to add a second Paralympic gold to his cabinet after topping the podium in London four years ago.

• Romario Diego Marques (BRA): Considered one of the best goalball players in the country, Marques is hoping to give his team the first Paralympic gold in history.


• Feifei Fan (CHN): She seeks to put an end to the silver streak in Rio, after losing in both the Beijing 2008 and the London 2012 finals.

• Akiko Adachi (JPN): The 32-year-old scored the winning goal at London 2012’s final against China and seeks to repeat at Rio 2016.

Amanda Dennis (USA): She will be looking to help her team return to the top of the Paralympic podium after a disappointing performance at London 2012, where they were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

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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.

Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.