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Overtime defeat for Finnish goalball men in the Pajulahti Games final
18.01.2015

Olympic gold medalist Amauri leads Brazil’s sitting volleyball team
18.01.2015

Watch Saturday’s web-tv matches afterwards
17.01.2015

Finnish Young Athlete of the year Amanda Kotaja has lot to achieve
17.01.2015

Records broken in the powerlifting Finnish Championships
17.01.2015

Wheelchair rugby have made Jean-Pierre Antonios a better archer
17.01.2015

Judoka Henri Kajan anticipates the biggest competition of his life in Los Angeles next summer
17.01.2015

 
 

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Overtime defeat for Finnish goalball men in the Pajulahti Games final
18.01.2015

Photo: Goaball

Finland’s men’s team suffered a bitter 5-6 overtime defeat to Lithuania in the final of the Pajulahti Games goalball tournament. Finland lead the match for a long time and managed to tie the match to 5-5 in the end after they have lost their lead, but in the overtime it didn’t take long for Lithuania to score a winner.

- This defeat leaves a foul taste of course, but overall it was quite good tournament for our team that’s changed a little since the 2014 World Championships, said Finnish star player Erkki Miinala.

Petri Posio, who had been an important figure for the national team for a long period, retired from international goalball after the Worlds last summer. With only three player in the court it’s a big difference when a single player leaves the team. Young Eetu Eronen played in Pajulahti together with more experienced Miinala and Jarno Mattila.

- Good tournament from Eetu, although I think he was already a bit tired in the final after a long tournament. We have some training camps and international tournaments in spring before the European Championships in summer so we got time to get our game together, said Miinala.

The reigning World Champion USA won the women’s tournament beating Canada 4-2 in the final. Näpäjä, a club team consisting of retired Finnish national team players got bronze medals before Israel and young Finnish national team.

 

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Kari replaced Kari as a chairman of the IBSA goalball committee
17.01.2015

Photo: Kari Marklund and Kari Räsänen.
Photo: Kari Marklund and Kari Räsänen.


There we’re a ceremonial change of guard in the Pajulahti Games as a long time IBSA Goalball committee chairman Kari Marklund from Sweden announced his retirement and another Kari, Finnish Kari Räsänen took over. A black IBSA jacket acted as a symbol of power as Marklund helped Räsänen to put it on his shoulders.

Räsänen has been a part of the goalball family since the 1991 European Championships in Lahti, Finland. He moves to the chairman post from the IBSA goalball sport director position and was a technical delegate in the 2012 London Paralympic Games goalball tournament. He has already been selected to be technical delegate also in Rio 2016. Still in this year’s Pajulahti Games he worked as a referee.

- Becoming a chairman means I have to limit my td jobs. It might also mean less travelling although the chairman has to travel quite a bit too. The work is more keeping contacts to the International Paralympic Committee and that kind of stuff, Räsänen told.

Räsänen will continue the excellent work of his predecessor Marklund.

- We made strategic plans last autumn and one of the main points was to develop international competition structure for young goalball players. We need regional youth tournaments and international championships, Räsänen said.

He added that other developing points in international goalball are for example women’s goalball, spreading goalball to new countries, getting more media attention to the sport and increasing the quality of international tournaments.

 

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Shaky start for the World Champions in women’s goalball
16.01.2015

Photo: Amanda Dennis
Photo: Amanda Dennis


United States, the reigning World Champion in women’s goalball, lost their first match in the Pajulahti Games to Israel 6-7 (5-3).

- It’s easy to find a reason to our defeat: We didn’t play defense. It was one of the worst defensive performances I’ve seen from our team, said Ken Armbruster, the head coach of Team USA.

- And hats off to Israel. They we’re able to adjust their defense in the second half, Armbruster continued.

USA came to Pajulahti with only four players as the captain of the team, Jennifer Armbruster couldn’t join the team because of a injury.

- She actually shouldn’t have played in the World Championships last summer either. She has quite bad injuries in her back and neck. Hopefully her career won’t have to end this way, Ken Armbruster said.

Jen Armbruster was one of the best players in the 2014 World Championships in Espoo although playing with injury. The absence of Armbruster was apparent in the first match of the Pajulahti Games.
 

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