Earlier today, the Czech Republic men’s national goalball team departed Prague for the IBSA World Games in Seoul, South Korea. The team first has to make a connecting stop through Dubai. The competition opens on Sunday, with team playing their opening game against Egypt on Monday at 9:00 AM local time.
The Czech Republic have been drawn in Pool A with Turkey, Spain, Egypt, China, Germany, South Korea, and Mexico. In the latest international rankings published by the IBSA in January, the Czech Republic ranked seventh in the world. They competed at last year’s IBSA Goalball World Championships in Espoo, Finland where they lost 2 – 4 to eventual fourth place finishing Lithuania in the quarter finals. Coming into those championships, the Czechs were ranked twelfth in the world.
The goalball competition is important at the IBSA World Games, because the top finishing men and women’s team qualify for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio.
Other competitors confirmed by the Czech Paralympic Committee who have or will be traveling to Seoul soon include judoka Miroslava Smrčku, showdown player Pavel David, swimmer Miroslava Smrčku, and the ten-pin bowling team. Two Czech referees, Petra Sezimu and Petru Hanákovou, have also been selected to officiate during the games.