Lithuania and Russia are goalball European Champions
Paralympic gold medallist Lithuania is now also the European Champion in goalball. They beat Germany 6–3 (4–1) in men’s gold medal match in Pajulahti, Finland. Justas Bazarauskas, the top scorer of the tournament with 32 goals, scored Lithuanian all six goals in the final.
Germany’s young team had played a very strong tournament but in the final Lithuanian’s experience paid off. Germany will most likely be even stronger in the future with young, hungry and developing players.
– We can be very proud of our tournament, we did not lose the gold but won the silver, said Michael Feistle of the German team.
Belgium won their first ever goalball championship medal as they beat Sweden 5–2 (3–1) in the bronze medal match.
– We have been two times fourth and this is the first time we were third, so yes, we are very pleased, said Belgium head coach Johan De Rick.
In women’s final Russia’s solid team work overcame Turkey’s star player Sevda Altunoluk who did scored three goals but Russia won 6–3 with three goals for Irina Arestova, two goals for Arina Gerasimova and one for Anna Shevchenko.
– It was a very difficult game, we met a very strong team, but we have trained hard and we were ready for the final, said Shevchenko.
Turkey had won the previous European Championships in 2015 and Paralympic gold in 2016, but after Rio few of their most important players left the team. Turkey managed to lure Sevda Altunoluk back to the team and she was almost able to carry the team in her back to the gold medals.
Israel won the bronze medals in women's tournament with a 2–1 win over Greece.
Klison Mapreni of Belgium was named as the Most Valualble Player of the men's tournament and Anna Shevchenko of Russia as the MVP of the women's tournament.
Results of the medal matches
- Bronze match: Sweden–Belgium 2-5 (1-3)
- Gold match: Germany–Lithuania 3-6 (1-4)
- Bronze match: Greece–Israel 1-2 (0-2)
- Gold match: Turkey–Russia 3-6 (3-3)
All the results can be found from the results page