Sport Week: Six players to look out for at Rio 201606.05.2016
Check out the players that will headline the goalball event at September’s Paralympic Games.
Amanda Dennis (USA)
The US star has been rising quickly since she competed at London 2012 Paralympic Games. In 2014 the 22-year-old was instrumental in her team´s gold medal-finish at the Espoo 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships. Dennis ended as the USA´s top scorer with 13 points. At Rio 2016, she aims to help her country reclaim the Paralympic title after eight years.
Sevda Altunoluk (TUR)
The Turkey women´s team will make its Paralympic debut at Rio 2016 following an outstanding performance at the World Championships two years ago, where they claimed bronze. Sevda Altunoluk was key for her country´s success, becoming the top scorer of the event with 31 points. In 2015, she excelled again at the European Championships A in Lithuania, where Turkey won the continental gold.
Akiko Adachi (JPN)
After scoring the decisive goal for Japan to snatch the London 2012 gold medal in the final match against China, the 32-year-old is hoping to repeat the Paralympic title in Rio. Adachi also helped her country claim the 2015 IBSA Goalball Asia-Pacific Championships title to qualify for the 2016 Paralympics. Japan faced China again, who had been undefeated throughout the tournament, and won the final 1-0.
Romario Diego Marques (BRA)
The 25-year-old helped Brazil win their first Paralympic medal when they clinched silver at London 2012. Marques was also part of the team that won the Espoo 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships and the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. “It is a dream for any athlete to take part of a Paralympic Games edition in his home country,” he said. "Hopefully a gold medal is waiting for us in Rio."
Erkki Miinala (FIN)
Finland claimed silver at the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships mainly thanks to Erkki Miinala’s scoring prowess. The 29-year-old, who had won the Paralympic gold two years before in London, finished with 24 points. In 2015, Miinala led the team that won silver again at the IBSA Goalball European A Championships.
Mohamed Mokrane (ALG)
Algeria’s team captain was a member of the team that made it to the quarter-finals at London 2012. Two years later, Mokrone became his country´s top-scorer at the World Championships with 28 points. In 2015, he extended his streak at the African Championships, scoring nine points in the gold-medal match against Egypt and achieving the second Paralympic qualification.
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.