2016: Russia’s long preparation paid off in women’s goalball tournament
Russia won the women’s goalball tournament in Pajulahti after beating the reigning World Champions USA on extra throws in the final. The score was 6–4 after the regular time had ended 2–2.
– We are very satisfied with the victory. This was a high quality tournament with the best three teams in the World – USA, Russian and Turkey – represented, said Ilkam Nabiev, the Russian head coach.
– We came here in Pajulahti already ten days before the tournament to practise and trying to find our best three players, and we succeeded, he told.
Russia were missing one of their best players Arina Gerasimova due injury. Anastasiia Mazur was in Pajulahti but couldn’t throw so well because of a injuried arm. With that in mind, Russia’s tournament victory was quite an achievement.
Russian team is taking part to tournaments in Sweden and Poland before the big one – the Paralympic Games in Rio on September.
– Our only aim is to win Paralympic gold medals, Nabiev said.
Lithuania won the men’s tournament beating Sweden in the final 11–3. Lithuania scored at least ten goals in all their matches except of a match against Finland which they won 7–6.