With group play concluding yesterday at the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships in Espoo, Finland, Australia’s women failed to qualify for the playoffs. Playing in five matches, they only managed to pick up one win. They defeated Sweden 4 – 1 on Wednesday.
The Australian team came into the competition ranked eleventh in the world. The team was pretty much the same one that competed in London, and finished eighth. They had a new head coach Peter Corr, who served as the team’s section manager at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.
Corr is quoted in an APC press release as saying, “Our team went into the game quietly confident and determined but the Ukraine just applied too much pressure and found a way through. […] Our players fought it out to the final whistle and despite the disappointment, the experience we gained was invaluable. […] I have no doubt that the program can continue to improve and we will keep focusing on preparing for a strong Rio campaign.”
The team was the lowest scoring team in their pool, scoring 14 goals and finishing with a goal difference of -11. Only last place Sweden had a worse goal difference in their pool with a -12. In the other pool, three teams had fewer goals, Germany with 8 and a goal difference of -24, Finland with 13 and a goal difference of -16, and current Paralympic gold medalist Japan with 13 and a goal difference of 12.
Australia’s participation in the tournament was announced in April, following the withdrawal of the Iranian women’s national team.