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Goalballers Know Their Rivals at World Championships

Based on the latest ranking of the International Blind Sports Federation, Iran stands seventh in the international ranking after Brazil, Lithuania, China, Germany, Turkey and Ukraine respectively
Iran goalball team at 2017 Goalball Asia/Pacific Championships in Bangkok.Iran goalball team at 2017 Goalball Asia/Pacific Championships in Bangkok.

Names of rivals of Iran’s national goalball team at the Malmo World Goalball Championships in Malmo, Sweden, June 3-9, have been announced.

According to the website of the games, Wcg18.se, Iran shares Pool B with the US, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Egypt, Czech Republic and Japan.

In Pool A are Lithuania, Algeria, China, Belgium, Argentina, Australia, Turkey and the host country Sweden.

On the first day of the games, June 3, Iran goalballers will meet Egypt and the next day the team will take part in two matches against Brazil and the US respectively.

The pattern of two games a day will continue on the third day and Iran will face Canada and Japan on June 5.

On the fourth day Iran will play only one match against the Czech Republic. Germany will be the last rival in group matches on June 7.

The semifinal, finals and the run for third place will all be held on June 8.

Malmo has been host to the games every year since 1995. The games are held each year in the men and women categories but Iran will attend the games only in the men’s category where 16 teams are participating.

  7th in Int’l Ranking

Based on the latest ranking of the International Blind Sports Federation on December 31, 2017, Iran stands seventh in the international ranking after Brazil, Lithuania, China, Germany, Turkey and Ukraine respectively. Sweden is in the eighth place after Iran.

With China as the only Asian team ahead of Iran in the ranking table, Iran is the second team of Asia in men’s goalball.

Brazil as the world No. 1 and Germany as the world No. 4 in the ranking will be the strongest rivals for Iran in the group matches. The US finished second in the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Goalball is a team sport designed specifically for athletes with vision impairment. Participants compete in teams of three, and try to throw a ball that has bells embedded in it into the opponents’ goal.

The ball is thrown by hand and never kicked. Using ear-hand coordination, originating as a rehabilitation exercise, the sport has no able-bodied equivalent.

Played indoors, games consist of twelve-minute halves. Teams alternate throwing or rolling the ball from one end of the playing area to the other, and players remain in the area of their own goal in both defense and attack.

Players must use the sound of the bell to judge the position and movement of the ball. Eyeshades allow partially sighted players to compete on an equal footing with blind players.

The International Blind Sports Federation, founded in 1981 and responsible for a range of sports for the blind and partially sighted, is the official governing body for the sport.

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