The IBSA World Youth Goalball Championships kicked off at the University of Colorado in Colorado Spring, the United States on Tuesday July 28, and will run until July 31. The United States Association for Blind Athletes (USABA) has hosted the fifth competition, since 2005.
The event featured 11 teams from Canada, China, Germany, Hungary, South Korea, Sweden and host nation the United Sates. Sweden and Hungary did not send their girls’ team, while China only competes in the girls’ event.
“This event is an incredible opportunity for our elite junior teams to compete on an international stage that will showcase some of the best youth goalball athletes in the world,” Mark Lucas, USABA Executive Director said. “It is another step towards many of these athletes’ goals to become Paralympic athletes.”
“Building an infrastructure that develops youth players is vital to the national team pipeline. This competition offers that opportunity for development to teams across the globe,” Lucas explained.
The previous champions, Japan (boys’ team) and Russia (girls’ team) did not partake in this year’s tournament. Therefore both USA boys’ and girls’ team that made podium in 2013 are being anticipated to claim the title in their home.
Meanwhile, the Untied States men’s and women’s team qualified for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro through the results of the 2014 IBSA World Championships, so they are gearing up with the aim of medals next year.