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U.S. Men’s and Women’s Goalball Teams Compete at Worlds June 3-8

Posted May 29, 2018  Goalball | National Goalball Teams | Tokyo 2020

U.S. Men’s and Women’s Goalball Teams will compete in their first chance at qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games next week at the 2018 IBSA Goalball World Championships in Malmö, Sweden.

The U.S. Women are defending champions and have earned medals at eight World Championships since their debut at the 1982 World Championships in Indianapolis where they won gold. The U.S. Men have five World Championship podium finishes, including a bronze medal from the 2014 World Championships, and are hoping to add another to their collection.

A podium finish for both teams would mean becoming one of the first nations to qualify to compete in the sport at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. It was at the 2014 World Championships that both teams qualified for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with podium finishes.

Teams, which were announced April 24, include eight Paralympians who helped their teams medal in Rio de Janeiro. Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.) is one of the Paralympians competing who was also on the 2014 Worlds Team. “We’re the most prepared we’ve ever been as an entire team,” said Mason. “Training together on the court [daily] has allowed us to become a strong, cohesive unit.”

“I love the week before a major competition,” said U.S. Women’s Head Coach Jake Czechowski, “because after two years of training (since Rio), the team is as sharp as it can possibly be. The athletes are hungry, excited and ready to take on the best goalball teams in the world. The other nations have also been working incredibly hard and we will no doubt see the very best performance of which they are capable. The three teams standing on the podium on June 8th will have achieved something very special.”

Though the U.S. Men are also excited about competing in their first opportunity to qualify for the next Paralympic Summer Games, their approach is calm. “We’re all eager to get to Sweden and get started,” said U.S. Men’s Head Coach Matthew Boyle. “I know all of the guys are excited to go, but the energy is very calm and reserved in these days leading up to the competition.”

Sixteen men’s teams and 12 women’s teams will compete in the tournament. Each division has been divided in half to create two pools of teams in each division. In January, nations were drawn by the local organizing committee for each of the pools. The U.S. Men will enter round robin play in Group B which also includes Brazil, Canada, Germany, Iran, Egypt, Czech Republic and Japan. The U.S. Women will compete against China, Algeria, Canada, Greece and Brazil in Group D.

Round robin play begins Sunday, June 3, with U.S. Men facing Brazil at 3:00 a.m. ET and Germany at 12:20 p.m. ET. U.S. On the first day of competition, U.S. Women will play Greece at 11:00 a.m. ET. Games will be livestreamed on the event’s Facebook page.

Team USA Round Robin Schedule:

Sunday, June 3 –
9:00 a.m.   USA M v. Brazil (gym 2) – 3:00 a.m. ET
5:00 p.m.  USA W v. Greece (2) – 11:00 a.m. ET
6:20 p.m.   USA M v. Germany (1) – 12:20 p.m. ET

Monday, June 4 –
11:10 a.m.  USA W v. China (1) – 5:10 a.m. ET
3:10 p.m.   USA M v. Iran (2) – 9:10 a.m. ET
8:30 p.m.   USA W v. Algeria (2) – 2:30 p.m. ET

Tuesday, June 5 –
10:20 a.m.   USA M v. Czech Republic (1) – 4:00 a.m. ET

Wednesday, June 6 –
8:30 a.m.    USA M v. Egypt (2) – 2:30 a.m. ET
12:30 p.m.   USA W v. Brazil (1) – 6:30 a.m. ET
5:50 p.m.   USA M v. Canada (1) – 11:50 a.m. ET
8:30 p.m.   USA W v. Canada (2) – 2:30 p.m. ET

Thursday, June 7 –
1:00 p.m.    USA M v. Japan (2) – 7:00 a.m. ET
3:40 p.m.   Quarterfinals begin – 9:40 a.m. ET

A full tournament schedule can be found on the event website (