There were big steps for sitting volleyball in 2017, as World ParaVolley launched the Super 6, a new international competition featuring some of the world’s best female teams. The first edition took place in Hangzhou, China, between 16 and 21 May, with the hosts, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia*, Ukraine and Paralympic champions USA competing.
This inaugural event also attracted record prize money, with a total of USD 25,000 given to the top teams and individual athletes.
The Super 6 makes it to No.27 in the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) Top 50 Moments of 2017.
Russia won gold following a 3-1 (25-23, 16-25, 25-17, 25-18) victory over Rio 2016 gold medallists USA in the final. Three-time Paralympic champions China completed the podium after beating Ukraine 3-0 (25-12, 25-23, 25-11) in the bronze medal-game.
The Super 6 champions remained undefeated throughout the event, conceding only two sets. They subsequently beat China 3-2 (25-20, 16-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-7), Ukraine 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-20), the Netherlands 3-0 (25-14, 25-9, 25-19), Japan 3-0 (25-11, 25-10, 25-18) and the USA 3-0 (25-13, 25-23, 25-18) to qualify for the final.
Despite being unable to lead her team to the top of the standings, USA’s Heather Erickson was chosen Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Best Spiker.
Russian Irina Smirnova*, China’s Gong Bin and Wang Yanan, the Netherlands’ Willemina Ellen and USA’s Monique Burkland were also selected in the ‘Team of the Tournament’.
Final standings: 1. Russia; 2. USA; 3. China; 4. Ukraine; 5. The Netherlands; 6. Japan
The full rundown of the Top 50 Moments will continue until 31 December.
*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.
On 6 September 2017, the IPC put in place a limited interim measure for athletes to compete as neutrals in qualification events across four World Para sports for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. These sports are alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country and snowboard.
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