The 2017 IBSA Goalball European Championships
are underway in Pajulahti, Finland.
The top ten national teams in the continent, both men and women, will play for medals and slots at the 2018 World Championships in Malmö.
A total of 66 matches will be played in five days and all of the matches will be streamed live on the tournament website: www.pajulahti2017.fi/en/
, with one channel for men’s matches and another for the women’s matches.
Most of the matches will also have English commentary provided by the Disability Sports Network. Matches with English commentary can be watched via the DSN website
or the English version of the tournament website.
All matches featuring the Finnish national teams, men and women, will have Finnish commentary when watched via the Finnish version
of the tournament website.
All of the matches will be made available to watch afterwards on Youtube.
You can also follow the tournament action via social media:
Two years ago in the previous Euros Turkey triumphed in both tournaments. The Turkish women’s team also won Paralympic gold in Rio, but the team has changed significantly following Rio 2016.
Russia, silver medallist two years ago, have a very strong side in Pajulahti and beforehand they look like the main candidate for gold in the women’s tournament. Israel may also have something to say in the title race. Overall, the women’s tournament seems evenly-balanced with very little dividing the top from the bottom.
In the men’s event, last year’s Paralympic gold medallist Lithuania brings a hard-to-beat team to Pajulahti, but they don’t have one of their aces - Genrik Pavliukianec
- in the team anymore. Also Turkey have had some changes after Rio but will most likely be a title candidate in Pajulahti with Ekrem Gündogdu
and Tuncay Karakaya
providing the attacking power.
Sweden finished fourth in Rio and they want to do well in Pajulahti with their home world championships in Malmö approaching. Belgium have been strong in the previous tournaments this year and might be a possible surprise side of the tournament. Of course home team Finland won’t be easy to beat for anyone and are trying all in their power to go far in the tournament.
The men’s gold and silver medallists and women’s gold medallist will book their slots for the 2018 IBSA Goalball World Championships in Malmö. Host team Sweden (both men and women) and Paralympic gold medallists Lithuania (men) and Turkey (women) have already secured their places in Malmö.
Match schedule: http://www.pajulahti2017.fi/en/schedule
Team rosters: http://www.pajulahti2017.fi/en/
Caption: competition banner.