Australia aim to defend title at home IBSA Goalball Youth Worlds
Date: August 2, 2019
Twelve teams from eight countries will go for the title at the 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball Youth World Championships in Penrith, Australia, from Monday (5 August).
The line-up includes defending girls champions Australia, hoping to retain their gold from the 2017 edition in Budapest, Hungary.
Alana Tiller, Alice Kingston, Amy Ridley, Genevieve Weston, Makayla Reilly and Molly Smith all have the task of taking on a tough field of countries in the hope of emerging the victors.
The youth team aspire to reach the same heights as the seniors, who recently made it into the bronze medal match at the 2019 International Qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in Fort Wayne, USA.
Brazil will be aiming to improve on their bronze medal from 2017 as the legacy of hosting the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games continues to help the development of goalball. Ana Bernardo, Emily Franca, Danielle Longhini, Monica Santos and Leticia Santos make-up the side.
A clash between Australia and Brazil opens the tournament on Monday.
Germany are another team with success at the youth level. They won silver in 2007 and followed that up with bronze in 2009 and 2011.
Rauan Mardnli, Franziska Weber, Jennifer Koch, Sophie Kaudewitz, Nicole Dorsz will try to regain their place amongst the top three.
Great Britain make their first appearance at a Worlds since the first edition in 2005 when they claimed silver. Antonia Bunyan, Amelia Robertson, Megan Smithson-Booth, Chelsea Hudson and Nansi Hidrej feature in the squad.
Korea and Thailand complete the girls competition with the latter making their youth Worlds debut.
In the boys, Brazil return as the silver medallists from Budapest 2017 and are looking for their first youth world title.
Like their counterparts in the girls competition, the boys have the seniors to look towards for inspiration as the current world champions. Marcos Santos, Lucas Araujo, Kaue Eduardo, Matheus Jesus, Pedro Velez and Braian Aeaujo will play for gold.
But South Korea’s Jung Kyu Ahn, Young Joon An, Se Bok Hong, Sang Been Jeon, Cho Long Kim and Kon Ho Lee will want to make their presence felt as the 2011 champions.
All the other teams, including Australia, are going for their first podium finishes.
Sweden will benefit from the addition of Olaf Ryberg who returns to the youth squad having gained valuable experience at the 2018 IBSA Goalball World Championships at home in Malmo.
Poland and Thailand round off the boys competition which gets underway on Monday with Australia v Brazil.
The 2019 IBSA Goalball Youth World Championships run from 5-9 August and feature players aged under 19. The full draw can be found at Goalball Australia’s website.