USA women punch goalball ticket to Tokyo

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Team U.S.A. walked away with silver medals in the women’s goalball qualifier, earning a place in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

The People’s Republic of China won the gold medal match 5-3.

“I thought our team played a really great tournament. We followed our game plan defensively and we accomplished one of our main goals, and that was to qualify for Tokyo next year,” said Lisa Czechowski, USA women’s goalball team member.

“We’re really proud of our performance and so grateful for all the support we received from Turnstone and the community of Fort Wayne who have just made the environment so positive and the energy in the room was just awesome.”

Israel was the bronze medal winner on the women’s side.

For the men, Lithuania bested Turkey with a final score of 7-3. Both qualify for Tokyo, where the Paralympic Games are scheduled for August 2020.

The People’s Republic of China took the men’s bronze.

The 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball and Judo International Qualifier was the first time the event was held in the United States.

Turnstone officials said feedback was very positive for their facility and Fort Wayne hospitality.

Over 40 countries were represented by nearly 600 athletes, coaches and delegation staff in addition to the international delegates who participated in IBSA’s General Assembly also held in Fort Wayne in conjunction with the competition.

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