Goalball: Sweden is the new champion of Euro C
Date: August 13, 2023
What a tremendous closing moment for the 2023 IBSA Goalball European Championship at Rotterdam Ahoy, in the European Para Championships! Sweden got the gold in the final against Hungary (11-5), which lost on the only day where that result was forbidden!
“It was an amazing game, an amazing tournament. It’s quite unreal. We came here with one goal, and that was to win the gold medal. But still, when you are here in this situation, it’s amazing”, said the Swedish player Olof Ryberg.
“It’s always a team effort. For very long —for four or five years— I was the youngest guy on the team, and I got so much great help from the older and most experienced players. Now I want to give back to the team by helping the younger players in the way I got helped”, he added about Alexander Smedberg, the youngest player on the team to play in the final. “Of course I want to do this together with them. It’s a team effort. When I look into the future and I see these three very young and talented players with lots of potential, I just want to see them go very, very far.”
Piotr Lawniszack, who played an important role in leading the Swedish to the title, was almost speechless, with his gold medal on his neck: “I have no words. It’s fantastic. I was very happy that I could help the entire team, especially Olof. I was glad to help build up the team for this performance. Now we just have to calm down after winning this gold medal, enjoy it, and celebrate. And after that, we have to sit down, have a talk with the team, and consider all possibilities.”
Zoltan Ruzsa, a Hungarian player and silver medalist, was also happy with the final result, given the circumstances: “It’s a great feeling. We didn’t have much time to prepare for this competition. It was a great performance for us”.
In the discussion for the bronze medal, another surprise. After defeating Spain (9-2) in the first match of the stage group, France measured forces once more with the Spanish national team, this time to discuss the third place of the competition. The victory was achieved by the minimum difference (6-5), but smiles went to the red and yellow squad, which is back again in Division B, like Sweden and Hungary.
Genis Quiroga was the player responsible for the winning goal in the last seconds of the match: “My adrenaline is so high at the moment. I am sweating, and I am very excited about this victory. It was the last opportunity to win the match, with a 50-50 chance. I was very nervous, and I thought that I needed to score. It was such an intense moment. It’s so important for us to be back in Euro B. There was only this one chance in two years to show that we were well trained and that we have a strong desire to rise (in the ranking) and continue to improve. The level in Division B is high. We have to work hard to get better and fight against the other teams who are really good.”
These three national teams have already had their promotion passports stamped, back from where they came in November of last year.
Sunday, August 13th
France vs Sweden: 5-10
Hungary vs Spain: 5-3
Bulgaria vs Azerbaijan: 7-3
Italy vs Netherlands: 10-2
France vs Spain: 5-6
Hungary vs Sweden: 5-11
1st – SWEDEN
2nd – Hungary
3rd – Spain
4th – France
5th – Italy
6th – The Netherlands
7th – Bulgaria
8th – Azerbaijan