The 2017 IBSA Goalball European Championships are fast approaching, and the organisers - the Finnish Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities - are moving ahead with plans for the event.
The championships will take place at the Pajulahti Sports Institute in Lahti, just over 100 kilometres north-east of Helsinki. Match days will be from September 18th to 22nd.
The 2017 IBSA Goalball EC will bring together the top ten men's and women's teams in the continent.
In the men’s tournament the right to participate is handed to the top seven teams at the 2015 European Championships in Lithuania – Turkey, Finland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and Sweden – and the top three teams from the 2016 B Division European Championships – Ukraine, Great Britain and Slovenia.
Caption: Lithuania in action during the Rio 2016 gold medal match.
In the women’s event the top seven teams from the 2015 European Championships are Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The top three teams from the B Division are Great Britain, Germany and Greece.
Turkey is the reigning European Champion in both men and women. Turkey also won Paralympic Gold in Rio in the women's tournament, while the men's event was won by Lithuania.
Caption: the Turkish women's team celebrates gold in Rio.
The official web site for the championships has now been launched at http://www.pajulahti2017.fi/en/
. It features the latest goalball news and results, and information on the 2017 EC will be added as it becomes available.
For the first time ever, there will also be the Goalball Open World Championships for Masters arranged alongside the European Championships. The tournament is designed for players who were born in 1977 or earlier and who have not played in their national team after 1st January 2016. Each team can have one junior player who was born in 1987 or earlier.
Follow the 2017 IBSA Goalball European Championships on social media...