Last night, the Finland national sledge hockey team posted their roster for a World Championships B qualifying series against Austria, which had no changes from a roster published earlier this month. It still includes Finnish player Seppo Joensuu.
Joensuu comes to Sweden having competed at the Pajulahti Games earlier this month in powerlifting , where he won by lifting 162 kilograms while competing in the 80 kilo class. Competitor Harri Kauppila was in the same class and set a Finnish national record with a 165 kilo lift outside of the competition lifting. Kauppila used all four of his lifts to try to unsuccessfully set the record in competition. At the end, both competitors were satisfied with their lifts.
Joensuu did not finish 2014 as an internationally ranked lifter, while Kauppila was 25th in the world, behind Kazakhstan’s Nodarzhan Khamrullayev and ahead of Poland’s Ryszard Rogala. Both lifters would have met the Minimum Qualifying Standards of 150 kilos for the 2016 Summer Paralympics, but because Joensuu did not compete in the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Champinships, he is ineligible.
The full roster for Finland includes goalkeer Timo Karko, and forwarders and defenders Seppo Joensuu, Aki Alestalo, Markku Hirvelä, Harri Kangastie, Tuomas Manni, Jani Antero Roponen, Hannu Oksa, and Kari Seliverstow. They are coached by Antti Kangas and Petri Rhyhänen is the team leader. Hirvelä will captain the side while Joensuu is the vice-captain.
The first game of the three game series gets underway tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM local time in Helsinki, Finland. The second game takes place at 3:00 PM local time tomorrow, with the third game taking place on Sunday at 10:00 AM local time.