Sport week: Six goalball storylines for Rio 201608.05.2016
Here are six potential goalball storylines to follow ahead of September’s Paralympic Games.
Brazil eyeing a first gold on home soil
After a bittersweet loss to Finland in the gold-medal match of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Brazil responded to win the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships and the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. With home support, the Paralympic hosts are a strong contender for gold.
Algeria’s second Paralympic participation
The Algerian team won the 2016 African Championships to qualify for its second Paralympic Games, after London 2012. Four years ago, Algeria advanced to the knockout stages after two victories in the group stage, before being eliminated by Turkey. They will try to outdo that performance at Rio 2016, where the women’s team will also make its Paralympic debut.
Turkey ready to take gold
Goalball has experienced a boost in Turkey after the men’s team sealed a much-celebrated bronze at its first Paralympic Games in London. With four more years of experience, and after winning the 2015 IBSA European Championships A, the Turkish team seeks to make another step forward towards the Paralympic gold.
The USA targets return to the Paralympic podium
The USA aims to win a third Paralympic gold after a disappointing performance at London 2012. Four years ago, the USA lost to China 8-0 in the quarter-finals. However, the team won the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships and will be the favourite for gold this September.
Russia will make its Paralympic debut
The Russian team burst onto the goalball scene two years ago when they topped the podium at the 2013 IBSA Goalball European Championships A. They later sealed two silver medals at the 2014 World Championships and the 2015 European Championships. At Rio 2016, Russia is a strong medal contender.
Canada hoping to win gold after 12 years
Canada was the dominant team at the beginning of the century, claiming two golds at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. They will try to relieve those glory days at Rio 2016, after failing to make it to the podium at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Editor’s note: Each sport on the Rio 2016 Paralympic programme will have a dedicated week of featured content published on paralympic.org. Every week a new sport will be featured and the series will run until September’s Games, helping the public understand more about the 22 sports being contested in Rio.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.