Seven men’s teams and five women’s teams from the European zone have qualified for the 2018 World Championships in Hamburg.
The 2018 World Championships will run from 16th August through to 26th August, with 28 teams (16 men’s and 12 women’s) from across the world competing. One thousand athletes will take to the court of Inselpark Arena during the tournament, with 50,000 spectators expected to watch the action across the 10 days.
Men’s Teams to have qualified from Europe
The men’s teams from Europe to qualify are Turkey, Great Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Poland. A male team from Europe has not won the World Championships since 1990 in Bruges, Belgium when France took home the gold.
European Gold medallists Turkey, were the highest placed European team at the 2014 World Championships in Incheon, South Korea finishing with a bronze medal.
After securing the seventh and final qualification spot, Italy captain Simone Di Maggi said they have high hopes for Hamburg, “Playing in a World Championship is going to be a dream. Doing it as a captain goes beyond all my expectations. We are an ambitious, valid group and ready to challenge anyone, as we have demonstrated in Tenerife. I am convinced that in Hamburg it will not be easy for anyone to face us. We will be there with more experience and with greater accustom to international competition, so we definitely aim to be one of the top teams in the tournament”
Italy men’s Head Coach, Carlo Di Giusto, said, “To be part of the 2018 World Championships for us means a lot. We are a new and very young team. The competition in Tenerife was tough but we played with no fear and with a growing confidence. The match against Turkey in the quarter final, lost at the very last possession, made us understand our real value. Hamburg will be a key step in this four-year project whose most crucial goal will be the qualification for Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games”
Women’s Teams to have qualified from Europe
In the women’s competition, a team from Europe has never won a World Championships. The teams qualified, who will be going after that elusive title, are The Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, France, and Spain.
Spain women return to the World Championships after a 24-year absence, their captain, Sonia Ruiz, said, “It is a dream come true for our team. There have been many years working towards this with very few resources and in the end the work puts us on the path of the best. The team are in a generational change, but still we feel prepared to give our best version and prove that Spain deserves to be among the best teams in the world.”
European Champions, The Netherlands, have been gradually climbing the final rankings at World Championships, with their highest ever finish, bronze, in 2014.
The Netherlands Women’s Head Coach, Gertjan van der Linden, said “It is great to have qualified for the World Championships as European Champions, but above all a promising step forward for our young and transformed team towards 2020.”
After their highest ever finish at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games of fourth, Great Britain are looking to continue their progression.
Great Britain Women’s Head Coach, Miles Thompson, said, “We look forward to our podium year preparation for the World Championships in Hamburg. We will be fully centralised beginning mid-September, with a strong training and competitive schedule leading into this major competition. Our goal is to be mentally and physically prepared – there’s a lot at stake for the GB women’s programme, and we are up for the challenge.”
To find out more about the 2018 World Championships visit the website.