A total of 12 men’s and eight women’s goalball teams have applied for slots to play at the 2019 IBSA Goalball and Judo Paralympic Qualification Tournament taking place in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, from 30 June-10 July.
The competition will be one of the main chances for countries to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, alongside regional Championships also set to be held in 2019.
The teams who will travel to Fort Wayne will be chosen by the IBSA Goalball Committee. A maximum of 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams can compete.
Applications close on 10 October and are open to IBSA members in good standing.
So far entries have been received from teams in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Oceania.
Several medallists from the 2018 IBSA Goalball World Championships in Malmo, Sweden, have applied for slots.
These include reigning world title holders Brazil and bronze medallists Belgium on the men’s side. In the women’s world champions Russia*, and Brazil - who claimed third place on the podium in Malmo - are also hoping to compete.
The Spanish men’s and women’s teams have made applications, wanting to secure a spot. They are currently playing at the 2018 IBSA Goalball European Championships B in Chorzow, Poland, as they try to gain promotion to the A pool for 2019.
Hosts the USA, the respective Paralympic silver and bronze medallists in the men’s and women’s, are also keen to play.
Selection will be based on teams’ performances at the 2018 IBSA Goalball Worlds followed by the ranking of teams within their regional qualification tournaments before Malmo 2018.
The qualifier in Fort Wayne will then be used to fill any slots for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics not taken by the hosts or any other teams that may not have qualified through the Worlds or regional Championships set to be held in 2019. These include Africa, Asia/Pacific, European (group A) or the Parapan American Games.
More information can be found here.
Questions can also be sent to the IBSA Goalball Sports Director, Alexey Baryaev at email@example.com
*The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games.