Teams’ preparations for the Rio 2016 goalball tournament continued last week when Malmo, Sweden hosted the Malmo Men Intercup. The European Champions, Turkey claimed the title in convincing fashion tearing apart Germany 10-0 in the final to claim the title.
The Turkish win came after a scare, losing to Sweden A in the opening match 5-3, they recovered perfectly, responding and taking out teams in convincing fashion from there. Turkey’s next closest results were five goal wins against Japan (9-4) and the defending Paralympic Champions, Finland (11-6).
From there Turkey just got stronger, beating the Germans 13-4 in the final group stage match before beating them again in the final 10-0, improving even further. The win will give Turkey confidence heading in to Rio as they recovered well from a loss before dominating the tournament.
Turkey will head in to Rio ranked as fourth in the world, with Lithuania claiming the top spot in the latest goalball world rankings released this week. Between the two European nations are a pair of Asian teams in Iran and China, while Paralympic Games hosts, Brazil, round out the top five.
The bronze medal went to Sweden A who defeated Japan for the honor while Finland rounded out the top five. Disappointingly for Sweden, their second team, Sweden U did not really compete, finishing last and well off the pace, perhaps meaning that the coaches already have the best line up ahead of Rio, but the worry will be a lack of depth going forward.
While the Malmo tournament did not have a women’s contest, the women’s rankings were also released which sets up some thrilling story lines ahead of Rio. China tops the standings but just behind them is Brazil, who will have a home crowd. Defending Champions, Japan sit third while the United Statwes and Turkey round out the top five.