IBSA Goalball Worlds – Pools drawn
Date: December 11, 2013
Following the conclusion of the 2013 IBSA Goalball African Championships, all qualified nations for the 2014 IBSA Goalball World championships are now known. This meant that the organisers could now conduct the official draw of the pools for the tournament.
Finland will host the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships from 26th June to 6th July in Espoo. The pool draw for the Games was held on 10th December in Helsinki.
A total of 16 men's teams are able to qualify for the World Championships. They were drawn into two pools.
Paralympic gold medallist, Finland, will face Algeria, Iran, USA, Spain, Germany, Ukraine and Czech Republic in pool A.
This is a tough pool for the host nation and current Paralympic champions. They will have to face both the African and Asia/Pacific champions in the pool stage. They will also have to play against Czech Republic who they have not had a good record against in 2013.
Pool B consists of the remaining eight teams; Brazil, Turkey, Lithuania, Canada, Egypt, Japan, China and Belgium.
Please note that the draw was completed in accordance with the proposed IBSA Goalball rules for the period of 2014-2017. These rules state that the regional champion of one continent cannot be placed in the same pool as the runner up of the same continent. For example; Lithuania is in pool B which means that Spain (second nation from Europe) had to be placed in pool A.
The women's competition consists of 12 teams. Host Finland will face Japan, Russia, USA, Turkey and Germany in pool X. The top four teams from each pool will advance to the quarter finals.
"Tough group. There's for example the reigning Paralympic champion Japan and the European Champion Russia and runner-up Turkey," said Heikki Juvonen, the head coach of the Finnish women's team.
China, Sweden, Iran, Brazil, Ukraine and Israel make up pool B. China, the current Paralympic silver medallists and Asia/Pacific champions will head into the tournament as favourite to top this pool.
All in all there will be 28 teams from 20 countries in Espoo next summer.
"Goalball is a global sport. It is played in almost hundred countries around the World. These twenty countries are the elite", said Kari Marklund, the Swedish chairman of the IBSA Goalball subcommittee, who performed the draw.
Pools for the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships