Serious goalball to watch this weekend
Date: January 14, 2014
The Pajulahti Games 2014 goalball tournament (held in Nastola, Finland this weekend 17-19 January) will be the first rehearsal of the year for some of the teams participating at the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships in Espoo, Finland.
All six teams competing in the Pajulahti Games women's tournament will also be at the World Championships. USA, Russia, Sweden, Israel, Finland and Turkey all represent the best part of the goalball playing world.
USA won the gold medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games and silver at the 2010 World Championships. Russia is the newly crowned European Champion. They were followed by Turkey, Israel and Finland. Sweden also has a Paralympic bronze medal to their name which they picked up in London.
The men's tournament in Pajulahti is also full of high quality teams. Lithuania, Algeria, Finland and Czech Republic will be playing in the Worlds. Lithuania has won the last World Championships and European Championships. Finland placed in the number one position at the 2011 IBSA World Games and at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Algeria is the reigning African champion.
Czech Republic was one of the most impressive teams at the European Championships. Even though they lost in the quarter finals, they were very impressive in nearly all their other matches. Sweden has a reputation as one of the most consistent teams playing men’s goalball. Russia also had an achievement of their own this year on a smaller scale, winning the 2013 IBSA Goalball European Championships C division.
"Pajulahti Games have been a tournament of good quality every year and this year makes no difference. In my opinion Lithuania and Czech Republic are our toughest opponents in the World Championships, at least from Europe," says Jarno Mattila from the Finnish men's team.
You can follow Pajulahti Games goalball tournament via Web-tv that you'll find from the Pajulahti Games website. There you can also find the full schedule of the Games and the line-ups of participating teams.
This is a great chance to see some very exciting goalball and see the teams compete under the new rules.
Broadcast schedule via Web-tv (Finnish time, UTC +2h)
Friday 17th January
09.00 Lithuania-Finland, Men
10.00 Sweden-Russia, Men
14.00 Finland-Czech Republic, Men
15.00 Algeria-Sweden, Men
17.00 Czech Republic-Russia, Men
18.00 Algeria-Finland, Men
19.00 Lithuania-Sweden, Men
Saturday 18th January
09.00 Turkey-Finland, Women
10.00 Israel-USA, Women
11.00 Sweden-Russia, Women
14.00 Sweden-Finland, Men
15.00 Lithuania-Czech Republic, Men
Sunday 19th January
13.00 Final, Women
14.00 Final, Men