Canada Dominates at 4th International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Championships

(Antalya, Turkey – April 12th, 2011) – The 4th International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Championships and Games wrapped up yesterday in Antalya, Turkey and saw Team Canada win 4 medals.  The event ran from April 1st to 11th  and featured Canadian athletes competing in Goalball, Powerlifting, and Judo.

The Canadian Women’s Goalball Team won gold and the Canadian Men’s Goalball Team won bronze, which qualifies both teams for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, England.  The Canadian Powerlifters combined to win 1 silver medal and 1 bronze, as well as set a world record in masters bench-press.  The Canadian Judo athletes put in a solid effort and each won at least 1 match, with 1 of their athletes on pace to qualify for the 2012 Paralympics with a 5th place finish.

The Canadian Women’s Goalball team won the gold medal and ultimately finished the tournament undefeated.  They posted a perfect 6 – 0 record in the round-robin to qualify in first position and then defeated Ukraine 5 -4 in the quarter-finals and Russia 1 – 0 in the semi’s to make it to the finals.  They then played a strong Finnish Team in the Gold medal match, and won 3 – 2 on a timely last minute goal by Nancy Morin.  With the victory they earn a berth in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, England as well as an invite to the test tournament later this year.

“All of the athletes are training really hard and it shows,” said High Performance Head Coach Janice Dawson.  “I am really pleased with their performance. We got stronger as the tournament progressed, and we met our goal of qualifying for the Paralympics.  I am very proud of their efforts, and am looking forward to the opportunity of playing other top teams at the test event.”

The Canadian Men’s Goalball Team won the bronze medal and also qualified for the 2012 Paralympic Games.  They finished the round-robin with a record of 5 – 2, and then beat the Americans 7 – 2 in the quarter-finals with a dominating performance to clinch the Paralympic berth.  They then lost to Turkey 4 – 0 in the semi-finals, but rebounded to beat Belgium 7 – 6 in a thrilling come-from-behind victory to win the bronze.

“First, we met our goal of qualifying for the Paralympics,” said Head Coach Danny Snow, “and I am proud of our medal.  The team is improving; we need to put in some more work to reach our ultimate goal.  I think we are moving in the right direction.”

Canadian Blind Sports would like to acknowledge the contribution and support provided by Sport Canada and Podium Canada for our world class Goalball Teams.

The Canadian Powerlifters had to wait 7 days to compete, but posted banner results when it was finally their turn.  Adam Bury won bronze in the men’s 100kg Powerlifting event on the strength of personal bests in both squat (220kg) and deadlift (237.5kg) as well as benching 142.5kg.  Tim Ekert won the silver medal in men’s 125kg Powerlifting by lifting an all around personal best by squatting 262.5kg, benching 247.5kg, and completing an impressive deadlift of 272.5kg – just over 600 pounds!  Rob Truchon placed 4th in the men’s 90kg powerlifting with a squat of 205kg, a deadlift of 180kg, and a masters 1 (age 40+) world record bench of 157.5kg.

“I’m proud of all the boys,” said Assistant Coach Kelly Branton.  “They all put in a lot of work and performed well.  Tim increased his total 70kg’s from the last meet which is huge, and shows all his incredibly hard work has paid off.”

Judo Canada’s athletes each posted at least 1 win in their divisions, but often found themselves with an unfavorable draw.  Tim Reese placed 5th in men’s minus 100kg Judo event with a record of 2 wins and 2 loses.  He lost by decision in the second bronze medal match after he fought the former Paralympic champion for 8 minutes to a scoreless draw.  With his top 5 finish, Tim is well on his was to qualifying for the 2012 Paralympic Games.  His teammates Tony Walby placed 9th in plus 100kg Judo event with a record of 1 win and 2 losses, while Justin Karn placed 11th in minus 60kg event also with 1 win and 2 losses.

Canadian Blind Sports is proud of all the success Canadian athletes who are blind or visually impaired are consistently achieving on the world stage.  We would like to acknowledge the excellent work of our Provincial Member Associations, and other National Sport Associations that service athletes who are blind or visually impaired.

Congratulations to all members of Team Canada for the 2011 IBSA World Championships and Games on an outstanding performance.

TEAM CANADA – 2011 IBSA World Championships and Games

Chef de Mission: Mike Lonergan (New Westminster, BC)

Canadian Women’s Goalball Team – Gold Medal
High Performance Head Coach: Janice Dawson (Calgary, AB)
Video Coach: Darren Hamilton (Calgary, AB)
Physiotherapist: Jackie St. George Rennie (Calgary, AB)
Team Support Staff: Matt Morrow (Vancouver, BC)

Athletes:
Tiana Knight (Calgary, AB)
Nancy Morin (Longueuil, QC)
Amy Kneebone (Ottawa, On / Charlottetown, PEI)
Whitney Bogart (Ottawa, ON)
Cassandra Orgeles (St. Catherines, ON)
Jillian MacSween (Brantford, ON / Halifax, NS)

Canadian Men’s Goalball Team – Bronze Medal
Head Coach: Danny Snow (Calgary, AB)
Video Coach: Darren Hamilton (Calgary, AB)
Physiotherapist: Isabelle Trottier (Quebec, QC)
Team Support Staff: Matt Morrow (Vancouver, BC)

Athletes:
Brendan Gaulin (Vancouver, BC / Montreal, QC)
Simon Tremblay (Quebec, QC)
Mario Caron (Montreal, QC / St Jean Port Jolie, QC)
Bruno Hache (Dorval, QC)
Ahmad Zeividavi (Vancouver, BC)
Doug Ripley (Vancouver, BC)

Judo
Coach: Tom Thomson (Brantford, ON)

Athletes:
Justin Karn – minus 60kg, 11th place. (Kitchener Waterloo, ON)
Tim Rees – minus 100kg, 5th place. (Kitchener Waterloo, ON)
Tony Walby – plus 100kg, 9th place. (Ottawa, ON)

Powerlifting
Coach: Sheldon Duncan (Windsor, ON)
Assistant Coach / Team Support: Kelly Branton (Windsor, ON)

Athletes:
Adam Bury – 100kg, Bronze Medal. (Toronto / formerly Windsor, ON)
Tim Ekert – 125kg, Silver Medal. (Windsor, ON)
Robert Truchon – 90kg, 4th place.  (North Bay, ON)

More information about the Paralympic Sport of Goalball is available at www.canadianblindsports.ca with a short promo video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Sjoe5yD7TI.

Canadian Blind Sports is the recognized national sports organization for Goalball in Canada and advocates within the sport system on behalf of Canadians who are blind / visually impaired.

Goalball is a fast-paced, Paralympic sport played by athletes who have a visual impairment or who are blind.  Played three on three, on a volley-ball size court, players track the ball by sound as they throw and defend blistering shots upwards of 80 kilometers per hour.

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For more information on the Canadian Blind Sports Association please visit: www.canadianblindsports.ca.
For more information please contact:

Matt Morrow
Participation Director /Communications

Canadian Blind Sports / Sports Aveugles Canada
#325 – 5055 Rue Joyce Street,
Vancouver, BC V5R 6B2  Canada
Telephone/ Téléphone : 604 419-0480
Toll Free / Sans frais: 1-877-604-0480
Mobile / Cellulaire: 604 812-6786
Fax/ Télécopieur : 604 419-0481