Na spletni strani http://www.sports.pressakey.net/euro09 si lahko ogledate prenose tekem iz Evropskega prvenstva v golbalu, München. Tekmovanja se pričenjajo ob 9. uri in potekajo do poznega popoldneva. Prenos se bo začel 30 minut pred pričetkom prve tekme.
In kaj o ekipah povedo predvajalci prenosov:
So let’s take a brief look at the teams competing this week.
The men’s competition is a round robin competition, with the eight teams looking to finish in the top four, to reach the semi-finals on Saturday.
The Lithuanians will not thank me for reminding them how close they were to being Gold Medallists in Beijing last year. They led comfortably against the host nation, but lost the game just as time ran out. They are current European Champions, and are looking to continue their reign. The 2009 squad contains all the stars that almost took them all the way in 2008.
Slovenia had a great Paralympic tournament up until the quarter final stages. They beat Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Spain, and Lithuania (in one of the best games of the tournament). They were the only team undefeated after the group stages, but could not match that form in the knockout rounds. They are expected to be much more of a threat than in Turkey in 2007, when they finished 8th. Most of their paralympic team will be in attendance.
The Danes lost in the quarter finals in Beijing, which hurt enough, but to really rub salt into the wounds they lost to their bitter rivals Sweden., and eventually had to battle through two more games to finish in a very creditable fifth place. With many players returning to the court in 2009, Denmark have a real chance in this tournament.
The Spanish team are a little unknown for me, but no team coached by Senor Francisco ‘Paco’ Monreal can ever be taken lightly! Jesus Santana has international experience, and will be expected to lead from the front in their bid to go one better than their runner-up position in 2007, where they were defeated in the final 2-1 by Lithuania.
The host nation did not qualify for Beijing, but did finish in third place two years ago in Turkey. Expect big crowds and lots of support for Germany, which might just push them into the final. And if the boys performance in the World Championships earlier this year is anything to go by, they could well be in the frame come Saturday.
Paralympic bronze medalists Sweden are looking to do a lot better than their 6th place finish two years ago. Their line-up is packed with experience, and the Scandinavians are going to be tough to beat!
If you just take the results at face value from Beijing, Belgium did not have the greatest Paralympic tournament, but close defeats to Slovenia, Finland, and Lithuania in the group stages could so easily have gone the other way, and with four players out of the squad Paralympics returning, Belgium will be looking to expand on their fourth place finish in Turkey in 2007.
Hungary are a team I have not seen before, and I am looking forward to seeing if they can produce the form that earned then a draw against Sweden and a victory over Slovenia two years ago, as they battled into a fifth place finish above those two teams and Denmark.
The ladies competition is initially split into two groups. Teams in each group are playing to end up in the top four of their group, which will place them into the knockout quarter finals on Friday.
The current European Champions are back to defend the title they won in Turkey in 2007, where they lost only one game in the entire tournament. They did not compete in Beijing, but you can be sure that they are ready for
Israel are an unknown quantity to me, I believe that this is their first European Champoionships, and I am very eager to see how the ladies shake things up.
Great Britain did not reach the Paralympics, but did recently compete in the Malmo Lady InterCup, and almost reached the semi final stage, but instead fought a hard battle with Germany in the consolation bracket. A return match in the group stages is one I am eagerly anticipating, and if their defence finds the form it showed at times in Malmo, the Brits could be once more pushing for a semi-final spot.
Another new team to me, I have not yet had the pleasure of watching the ladies of Spain in action, but with Coach Monreal in charge, I am very much looking forward to doing so.
Host nation Germany had a tournament that they will want to put behind them as soon as possible, and what better situation than as hosts of Euro 09. A winless Paralmpics was slightly negated by a much better performance in Malmo this year, and the experience they have gained, plus home court advantage, could give the home crowds something to cheer about.
Greece, another new team for me, will be looking to improve on their eight place finish in Turkey in 2007.
Runners up in Euro 2007, bronze medalists in Beijing, the Danish Ladies are one of the favorites to take the European title this year. The squad contains all the stars from last year, but the late injury to Maria Larsen could be an interesting variable, though you can be sure that the unflappable coach Peter “poker face” Forsberg will have taken the setback in his stride.
In 2007, the Russian ladies managed only one win (against Greece), and struggled against the other teams. But that was two years ago, and the only way is up!
Home court advantage in the last European Championships did not help the Turkish ladies, as they ended the tournament in 10th place. But now, with the pressure off, and two years more experience under their belt, I am looking forward to seeing how they plan to upset some of the more favored teams.
The Ukrainians defeated Spain in the bronze medal game in Turkey to grab a third place, and they are back to challenge for more medals this time, and could have a great chance of being in the action on Saturday.
The Swedish ladies are out for revenge! Two defeats in Beijing against bitter rivals Denmark (2-1 in the round robin, and more painfully a 3-2 loss in the bronze medal game) have the Swedes thirsting for the European title. And they have a very realistic chance too, with a lot of experience in the squad, each determined to achieve higher than their 6th place finish two years ago.