China and Japan Take Top Honors as the 2015 IBSA Goalball Asia/Pacific Championships Come to a Close
Date: November 12, 2015
Just a few days ago, 10 teams came to Hangzhou, China to compete in the 2015 IBSA Goalball Asia/Pacific Championships. These teams came ready to battle hard, and with hopes of heading home with gold medals and possible qualification slots for the 2016 Paralympic Games.
When this final competition day began, we were down to the final 4 men's and 4 women's teams.
Starting out the day was the women's Bronze medal match between Australia and Thailand. Both teams played a very tight first half, providing one another very few scoring opportunities and resulting in a 1-1 tie at the half. In the second half, Australia picked up the pace and while Thailand fought hard, they were outscored in the second half, 5-1. When the final buzzer sounded, Australia was ahead 6-2, heading home with the Bronze medal.
The men's Bronze medal match would be the pairing of Japan and Korea. During their first encounter in this tournament, Japan walked away with a 7-5 win. Korea was determined not to let Japan have a repeat win. At the end of the first half, Korea had a 4-2 lead. They followed suit in the second half, increasing that lead to a 8-3 final score and the win over Japan.
Undefeated China and Japan would meet in the women's final match. Japan, whose only loss was to China, gave the crowd a lesson in flawless defense. Both teams played like they were in a Gold medal match, with Japan taking a very narrow 1-0 lead at the half. China, with their undefeated record on the line, worked extremely hard to try to penetrate Japan's defense, however today, that was to prove impossible. Japan won the match and the Gold medal with a 1-0 win over China.
In the tournament's final match, the crowd would see a pairing of two undefeated men's teams, Iran and China. Both teams played hard, but China gave the local fans the show they came to see, defeating Iran 8-4 and garnering the men's Gold medal.
In addition to team accolades, two players distinguished themselves as the tournament's top scorers. For the men's competition, top scoring honors went to Cai Changgui of China, who tallied 19 goals. The women's top scorer was Australia's Meica Horsburgh who registered 17 goals.
Our congratulations to all teams for their performances.