Lithuania and Russia are European Goalball Champions
Paralympic gold medallist Lithuania is now also the European Champion in goalball. They beat Germany 6–3 (4–1) in men’s gold medal match in Pajulahti, Finland. Justas Bazarauskas
, the top scorer of the tournament with 32 goals, scored Lithuanian all six goals in the final.
Germany’s young team had played a very strong tournament but in the final Lithuanian’s experience paid off. Germany will most likely be even stronger in the future with young, hungry and developing players.
– We can be very proud of our tournament, we did not lose the gold but won the silver, said Michael Feistle
of the German team.
Belgium won their first ever goalball championship medal as they beat Sweden 5–2 (3–1) in the bronze medal match.
– We have been two times fourth and this is the first time we were third, so yes, we are very pleased, said Belgium head coach Johan De Rick
In women’s final Russia’s solid team work overcame Turkey’s star player Sevda Altunoluk
who did scored three goals but Russia won 6–3 with three goals for Irina Arestova
, two goals for Arina Gerasimova
and one for Anna Shevchenko
– It was a very difficult game, we met a very strong team, but we have trained hard and we were ready for the final, said Shevchenko.
Turkey had won the previous European Championships in 2015 and Paralympic gold in 2016, but after Rio few of their most important players left the team. Turkey managed to lure Sevda Altunoluk back to the team and she was almost able to carry the team in her back to the gold medals.
Israel won the bronze medals in women's tournament with a 2–1 win over Greece.
RESULTS OF THE MEDAL MATCHES
•Bronze match: Sweden–Belgium 2-5 (1-3)
•Gold match: Germany–Lithuania 3-6 (1-4)
•Bronze match: Greece–Israel 1-2 (0-2)
•Gold match: Turkey–Russia 3-6 (3-3)
MEN'S FINAL RESULTS
WOMEN'S FINAL RESULTS
Caption: championships banner.