A thrilling conclusion to the 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball Youth World Championships saw Thailand and Brazil claim respective boy’s and girl’s titles in Penrith, Australia, on Friday (9 August).
In an exciting end to the boy’s competition, Thailand took the defending silver medallists to extra time after a 4-4 draw at the whistle.
In regular time Kitsada Thanyawanitphong gave Thailand an early lead five minutes in to the first half but Brazil kept on pushing.
Just over two minutes later Brazil finally breached the Thai defence when Matheus Jesus found a way through. With the clock ticking down Brazil managed to hit the back of the net once more, again via Jesus, to end the first half with a slim one goal lead.
Thailand came out fighting, drawing the score level courtesy of another from Thanyawanitphong as Brazil tried in vain to add to their score.
Braian Araujo finally found a gap in the Thai defence with seven minutes on the clock but Thanyawanitphong had a quick reply to halt his opponent’s momentum.
At 4:07 Araujo doubled his score but there was more than enough time for Thailand to come back again.
And comeback they did when Thanyawanitphong was the hero once again, concluding the scoring with his fourth goal around two minutes later.
At the start of extra time there was a tense atmosphere in both camps.
Penrith 2019 was the first time Thailand have entered a boys team in a youth World Championships since 2007 when they finished bottom. Brazil meanwhile were desperate to improve on their silver from 2017 in Budapest, Hungary.
It was Thanyawanitphong with the golden goal that punctured the tension at 1:21 in the first half. The Thai team erupted off the bench and the players embraced on the court, barely able to believe the game was over and the title was theirs.
But Brazil were able to seal a gold of their own in the girls’ competition, improving on their bronze from 2017.
Danielle Longhini scored three of her team’s goals in their 5-0 win over hosts, and defending champions, Australia.
Longhini consistently chipped away at her opponents defence, netting balls in the 11th, 9th and third minutes before Monica Santos took over just before half time.
Santos then rounded off the Brazilian goals four minutes into the second half to conclude the scoring and seal victory.
Great Britain took bronze with a 10-4 win over South Korea thanks to goals from Antonia Bunyan, Chelsea Hudson and Megan Smithson-Booth.
The boys bronze medal match delivered another tense fight between Poland and Sweden. Poland had the lead early on but three goals in succession from Sweden turned the match in their favour in the second half. Just one goal separated the teams at full-time – and it was Sweden who had the edge with a final score of 12-11.
The 2019 IBSA Goalball Youth World Championships took place from 5-9 August.Twelve boys and girls teams from eight countries competed in Penrith.
All games are available to watch on IBSA Goalball’s Facebook page and IBSA’s YouTube channel.