- Referees Selected for World ParaVolley Championships 2014 21 February 2014
- ParaVolley assignment for referee Nello Calleja 22 May 2014
- Full schedule released for World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships 23 May 2014 Paul Osborne
- World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championship – GB Squad 11 June 2014
- Prawie wszystkie guziki są już zapięte (siatkówka na siedząco) 12 June 2014
- Sitting World Champs Update 16 June 2014
- WORLD PARAVOLLEY General Assembly 18 June 2014
- Latest News from Poland 19 June 2014
- A Win for GB in the World Paravolley Championships 19 June 2014
- Paralympic champions Bosnia and Herzegovina impress at World Sitting Volleyball Championships, 19 June 2014 Gary Anderson
- GB v Japan – World Paravolley 20 June 2014
- Day 6 recap. paravolley.pl Michal Skorupa 20 June 2014
Sitting Volleball Wrold Championships finalists revealed.
The Championships in Elbalg are reaching a cumulating phase. Certain positions are now set. In 13th place is Iraq, who, in their late game won over Morocco 3:nil (25:13, 25:16, 25:17). In 14th place, Kazakhstan, who beat the previous champions 3:0 (25:11, 25:15, 25:19). Fierce fighting between Poland and Croatia took place for the 11th place; unfortunately, the Poles were defeated by their rivals in 3 clear sets (23:25, 21:25, 22:25), therefore, they will face them again tomorrow for the 12th. place title. In an unexpected turn of event, Holland beat USA 3:1 (21:25, 25:19, 25:18, 25:18), and are now in 9th place. Matches for places 5-8 also took place. An equally demanding game for both sides took place between Germany and Ukraine. In the end, Germany proved victorious, after an exhausting 3:2 (21:25, 21:25, 25:17, 25:17, 15:10) duel. On another court, Russia beat China 3:0 (25:22, 26:28, 25:21). The most important matches, however, the semi-finals, were fought between Egypt and Bosnia-Herzegovina; the latter favourites did not disappoint, beating Egypt 3:0 (25:11, 25:23, 25:23). In tomorrow’s finals, they will face an unforeseen rival- Brazil, who defeated Iran in a tie-break (19:25, 20:25, 18:25, 15:25, 15:12). On the other hand our girls have been beaten down to the 12th position, after a 3:0 humiliation against Germany (15:25, 21:25, 13:25). Japan have experienced their first victory during these Championships, against Great Britain- 3:0 (26:24, 25:11, 25:21), while Slovenia could not handle Ukraine, and lost 0:3 (25:16, 25:16, 25:8). Tomorrow’s finalists have also emerged: USA smashed Holland’s chances of gold 3:0 (26:24, 25:15, 25:13). Their rivals are China, who, after a very fierce 5 sets, (25:12, 25:16, 16:25, 20:25, 15:11), triumphed over Russia. On the 21st of June, the World Champions in ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball will be announced. At 2:30pm, China will take on USA in the ladies’ category, and Bosnia and Herzegovina will face today’s surprise finalist, Brazil.
- Brazil shock Iran to seal place in Sitting Volleyball World Championship final. Gary Anderson. 20 June 2014
Meanwhile, on the women’s side, the gold medal match will be a repeat of the final at London 2012 as China and the United States will lock horns once more.
After topping Pool B, Paralympic champions China faced a semi-final clash with Pool A runners-up Russia.
They began in dominant fashion taking the first two sets and looked to be heading for a comfortable victory.
But the Russians were not going away easily and regrouped to stage a superb comeback by taking the next two sets and forcing the match into a decider.
That was as good as it got for Russia as the Chinese stepped up a gear to take the final set 15-11 and secure a 3-2 win.
The other semi-final was an altogether more straight-forward affair as the United States came through comfortably by overcoming Pool B runners-up The Netherlands 3-0 to set up another clash with China.
Speaking after the match, the United States’ Nichole Millage said: I’m excited before the final match, nervous but excited.
“I think we have a really big chance.
“We have a really good team.”
- Gold Medal Match, USA 2-3 China Martyna Orzel Translated by: Jolanta Jasieniecka 21 June 2014
Gold medal match – USA – China
The most awaiting moment – in women`s group the battle in between Republic of China and the United States of America was a spectacular show. Two of the best teams faced each other, as both teams showed off world-class performance. Despite of the first set belonging to the Americans, the Asians did not worry too much and evened up the series 1-1. The Americans picked themselves up again and got a 3rd. set. The next part of the game belonged to the Chinese as they tied it again 2-2.
Decisive set brought to the players and the fans so much emotions and adrenaline – this part definitely was for the people with strong nerves. Both team exchanged point for point throughout the 5th. set, however, towards the end the Americans got a substantial advantage, what it turned out to be a misleading moment. China, the World Champ battled back to even up the points. Their self confidence did not disappoint as it played a key part in the final moment, eventually winning the tie-break 17-15.
With the final score of 3-2, the gold medallists at the 2014 WPV World Champions in women’s division became team from China.
“USA is very strong, and that’s even greater feeling to win the match – we win now, we’ll go back and start to train again for another Paralympic game” – said Hunji Huang.
Leaving the court one of the US player’s said: “We played great and we were very close against China. Now, we will practice and we must be ready for Rio”. The America coach commented: “China is the best team in the World, we are disappointed but it was great game. Especially in tie-break we showed that we are very strong team – the last of part we played point for point”.
- Gold for China Mira Stankiewicz Translated by:Jolanta Jasieniecka 21 June 2014
- U.S. Women Take Silver at Sitting Worlds BILL KAUFFMAN 21 June 2014
The U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team was within a point of capturing its first major international title, but its nemesis China came away with a hard-fought 23-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21, 17-15 victory Saturday to claim the ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships gold medal in Elblag, Poland.
By reaching the title match of the World Championships, both the U.S. and China had already qualified for the 2016 Paralympic Games to take place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
In the fifth set, China held the early lead at 5-4, but the U.S. scored eight of the next 12 points to assume a 12-9 advantage and closing in on the title. The Americans held match point at 14-13, but the Chinese answered and took the lead at 15-14 and went on to win 17-15.
Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.) scored a team-high 24 points with 23 kills on 62 attacks. Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.) chipped in 14 points via 12 kills and two blocks. Michelle Schiffler (Lake Wales, Fla.) chipped in 13 points with a team-high six blocks, five kills and two aces. Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.) charted 10 points with six kills, two blocks and two aces. Kaleo Kanahele (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Nicky Nieves (Kissimmee, Fla.) each scored seven points in the match.
Erickson handled 26 receptions with a 69 positive reception percent. Bethany Zummo (Dublin, Calif.) was credited with a 59 positive reception percent on a team-high 34 reception chances. Holloway had a 71 positive reception percent on 14 chances.
China held slim margins in blocks (17-15) and aces (8-7) during the match. Both teams converted 32 percent of its attacks into points. Team USA had a 59 positive reception percent for the match to China’s 54 percent.
China’s Sheng led all scorers with 31 points, including 22 kills on 64 attacks, seven blocks and two aces.
The U.S. led much of the first set, including a 16-13 advantage at the second technical timeout. However, China stayed close and tied the set at 23-all before the Americans scored the final two points. China led by as many as four points in the second set, but the U.S. took a 15-13 advantage prior to China netting three straight points to grab a 16-15 margin at the second technical timeout. China went on to win 25-22 as the U.S. could not regain the advantage.
In the third set, China rushed out to an 8-2 advantage at the first technical timeout. The U.S. responded with 14 of the next 19 points to take a 16-13 advantage into the second technical timeout. Team USA cruised into a 25-19 victory in the third set. China led nearly the entire fourth set with as big a lead as five points at 16-11 at the second technical timeout before closing the frame at 25-21.
U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team
2 – Bethany Zummo (Dublin, Calif.)
3 – Lexi Shifflett (Waseca, Minn.)
4 – Michelle Schiffler (Lake Wales, Fla.)
5 – Katie Holloway (Lake Stevens, Wash.)
6 – Heather Erickson (Fayetteville, N.C.)
7 – Monique Burkland (Ardmore, Okla.)
9 – Abby Mueller (Houston, Texas)
13 – Nichole Millage (Champaign, Ill.)
14 – Kaleo Kanahele (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
16 – Nicole Nieves (Kissimmee, Fla.)
Head Coach: Bill Hamiter
Assistant Coaches: Cara Lang, Jeffery Hicks
Therapist: Patrick Lawrence
Team Manager: Laura Finch
U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team
1 – Travis Ricks (San Diego, Calif.)
2 – Dan Regan (St. Louis, Mo.)
3 – Sam Surowiec (Everett, Wash.)
4 – Benjamin Aman (Edmond, Okla.)
5 – Eric Duda (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
6 – Jese Shag (Sheridan, Ill.)
8 – James Stuck (New Kensington, Pa.)
9 – Hugo Storer (Greensboro, N.C.)
10 – Edgar LaForest (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
11 – Roderick Green (West Monroe, La.)
13 – Charlie Swearingen (Gulfport, Miss.)
18 – J. Dee Marinko (New Castle, Okla.)
Head Coach: Quinton Kraeer
Assistant Coaches: Greg Walker, Joseph Skinner
Therapist: Katherine King
Team Manager: Dixie Collins
Women’s World Championship Schedule
June 15: United States def. Great Britain 25-11, 25-11, 25-10
June 16: United States def. Poland 25-5, 25-8, 25-8
June 17: United States def. Finland 25-9, 25-3, 25-13
June 18: United States def. Slovenia 25-10, 25-14, 25-14
June 19: United States def. Russia 25-19, 12-25, 25-20, 25-17
June 20: United States def. Netherlands 26-24, 25-16, 25-13 (semifinals)
June 21: China def. United States 23-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21, 17-15 (gold-medal match)
Men’s World Championship Schedule (times local)
June 15: Egypt def. United States 25-21, 25-20, 25-16
June 16: United States def. Iraq 25-17, 25-22, 25-22
June 17: Iran def. United States 25-7, 25-15, 25-17
June 18: Germany def. United States 25-22, 25-17, 25-18
June 19: United States def. Croatia 25-22, 30-28, 25-21
June 20: Netherlands def. United States 21-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-18 (9th Place Match)
- New technology at sitting volleyball World Championships. World ParaVolley via IPC. 21 June 2014
The 2014 World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships are currently taking place in Elblag, Poland, and around the court there are a number of new initiatives being done to further enhance the matches and the promotion of the sport on a global level.
Firstly, ParaVolley Athlete Bloggers have been blogging throughout the competition and sharing their experiences online at a special website which you can find here.
Additionally, for the first time in the history of the sport, the local organisers are using a ‘drone’ to capture images and footage from the sky. The ‘drone’ is a remotely controlled flying device, almost inaudibly moving around the courts and over the spectator tribunes.
It has captured some great footage in the CSB hall and the spectator Fun Zone. Click here for an example video of the drone in action.
Thanks to these recordings, all of the events during the Championships can be seen from the bird’s-eye-view.
In addition to this, the recently launched World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball Education programme, namely VolleySLIDE, has been working tirelessly with the local organiser to promote the competition through social media as well as capturing footage from all sorts of different angles for future research and promotional resources.
They will be then looking to further enhance their collection of resources in the future to aid more people with transitioning from Volleyball to Sitting Volleyball as well as using them to access new markets.
The Championship is now reaching its crucial stages and you can watch the semi finals and finals live on the competition website here: www.paravolley.pl.
The teams finishing first and second will be the first athletes to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, not only for sitting volleyball, but across all sports.
- U.S. women take silver, men place 10th at sitting volleyball world championship – 26 June 2014 – Edmond Sun:
ELBLAG, Poland — The U.S. women’s national sitting volleyball team continued its elite-level success at the 2014 ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships last week in Elblag, Poland, coming away with a silver-medal finish. It was the team’s fourth straight silver in major international competition.
The women’s squad cruised to the finals match, defeating all five opponents in pool play and sweeping Russia in the semifinals before falling to China 23-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21, 17-15. The U.S. women also took silver in the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games, as well as the 2010 World Championships, held on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma.
By advancing to the finals, the women secured a berth in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“It wasn’t really our mindset at all to qualify for Rio. We knew we would have plenty of opportunity to do so. Our single objective was to win gold and become world champions. Even though we are disappointed with the silver medal, it’s still a huge accomplishment and we see that we continue to set ourselves up for long-term success,” said coach Bill Hamiter.
The men’s team finished pool play 2-3 and fell to the Netherlands in the ninth place game 21-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-18. The U.S. men have yet to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games.
“I think our experience was a success over the past two weeks, even though we didn’t finish as high as we would have liked. I saw many good things happen with the team and the improvements that we’ve been making. As we move forward I know that we will be stronger because of the experiences gained from Poland. I am excited to get the players back and start working on the small issues that will make a big impact on our world standings,” said coach Quinton Kraeer.
The University of Central Oklahoma is an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site and is the host training site for men’s and women’s sitting volleyball. Athletes can train for Olympic volleyball and any Paralympic sport at the university. Currently, Central hosts resident athletes in the Paralympic sports of sitting volleyball, archery, track and field and powerlifting, as well as Olympic taekwondo.
- 4 teams book spots in sitting volleyball event of 2016 Rio Paralympics. SportsKeeda. 26th June 2014.
Qualification for Rio Paralympics in full swing
The 2016 Rio Olympics is approaching soon, which means the time for athletes to qualify for the same is very near, if not already here.
In sitting volleyball, a game included under the Paralympic category, four nations have made sure that they will see their flag fluttering high in Rio after the men’s teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran, and the women’s sides from China and USA booked their place at the 2016 Games.
Three teams qualified by virtue of finishing as the top two teams in each category at the World Championships in Elblag, Poland, while Iran qualified by winning the bronze medal at the event. Brazil had defeated Iran in their semi-final, but as the host nation is already guaranteed a place at the Rio Games, it went down to the battle for third place in Elblag.
In the men’s session, the semi-final between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Egypt was a bit of a one-sided affair as the gold medallists from the London Games overcame their opponents in straight sets, 25-11, 25-23, 25-23. This was before the hosts for the 2014 Games, Brazil, pulled out a shock by overpowering the defending champions Iran, 25-19, 25-20, 18-25, 15-25, 15-12.
Reigning champions China reign supreme again
Meanwhile, in the women’s category, China had to toil hard to assure themselves a place in Rio as they defeated a strong Russian side in a game that went into the fifth set. The reigning Paralympic and world champions won the tie 25-12, 25-16, 16-25, 20-25, 15-11. On the other hand, USA assured their qualification by overcoming the Netherlands 26-24, 25-15, 25-13.
Talking to the media team for the Rio Games about what could be expected in Brazil two years from now, Nichole Millage of USA said, “The competition in Rio will be really top. All teams play from their heart and show their best and it will be really good competition. I’m excited.”
- IPC Athlete of the Month Award Nominees. 2nd July 2014
The International Paralympic Committee has announced its shortlist for June’s Athlete of the Month award, and the public can now vote for the winner via the poll on www.paralympic.org.
The nominees include:
Safet Alibasic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – Alibasic helped Bosnia to win the 2014 Sitting Volleyball World Championships. Earning the men’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, his contributions helped his team finish the competition without losing a match to add the world championship title to their Paralympic gold.
Ryley Batt (Australia) – Wheelchair rugby star Batt recently helped his team secure the 2014 Canada Cup, scoring an impressive 43 goals in the final as Australia beat Canada 62-54. This incredible performance also led him to be given the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
Yui Kamiji (Japan) – Kamiji won her first singles grand slam of her career with a straight sets victory over the Netherlands’ Aniek Van Koot at the 2014 French Open in Roland Garros. She then backed this up by taking the title in the women’s doubles.
Janet McLachlan (Canada) – Canada became world champions once again, defeating Germany in the final of the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships. McLachlan was influential throughout and often finished as top scorer, including in the final.
Veronika Vadovicova (Slovakia) – Double European champion Vadovicova recently claimed three gold medals and bettered her own finals world record in R2 (women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1) with a score of 207.5 at the IPC Shooting World Cup in Fort Benning, USA.
The public now has until 12:00 (CEST) on 10 July to vote for which athlete it thinks had the best performance last month.
The nominations are compiled from submissions from National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and International Federations (IFs).
- ‘Over Silver’ U.S. Women Ready For Sitting Volleyball Gold. 3rd July 2014. Doug Williams
Heather Erickson led Team USA to a silver medal in women’s volleyball at the 2012 Paralympic Games, two years before the team took another silver at the world championships.
It was a question Bill Hamiter obviously had rolled over in his mind many times before:
What’s it going to take for this team to win a gold medal?
“That’s a great question,” said Hamiter, laughing. “I thought we had it figured out.”
Hamiter, the coach of the U.S. women’s sitting volleyball team, recently returned from Poland where his team won the silver medal at the ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships and became the first American team to qualify the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
So Hamiter obviously is proud of a group that went 5-0 in pool play, powered past Russia in the semifinals and then nearly defeated China in a tight championship match.
The U.S. lost 23-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21, 17-15 – but was ahead 13-11 in the fifth set. That’s about as close as you can get to a gold medal without bringing it home.
It marked the fourth straight silver medal for the U.S. in top international play, counting the 2008 and 2012 Games and 2010 world championships.
Outside hitter Heather Erickson has been on all four of those teams and was disappointed about coming up short.
“I’m kind of over silver,” she said.
“Everybody on the court played their hearts out,” said Erickson, USA Volleyball’s 2013 Sitting Women’s Player of the Year. “The final game we took them to five sets and we lost by two points. … So it was literally one error less or two errors less. That’s pretty much what it came down to.”
Erickson called it a tough loss because she and her teammates were confident this time would be different. Still, she said it “was a great game to be a part of.”
For Hamiter, it was yet another sign that the Americans can play for gold in 2016. In fact, he noted that Team USA had beaten China in its three previous matches. But he was hoping this time would be different.
“There was disappointment,” said Hamiter, speaking about his players’ reaction to the close loss in the final. “Like I said, I think we had that goal of going in there and trying to win the world championship. We believed we’d be able to qualify somewhere if we didn’t qualify there. … We would probably (qualify) within our zone next year.
“So the frustration was just a little bit of hey, we fell short, we had it, we knew we had it and we just didn’t get it done.
“But like anything, when you step back you look at how they played, how we played, and they were definitely looking at that as a positive because they know we played well.”
But beating China is a chore.
The Chinese team in Poland included five players from its championship team from London, and that fivesome has been together 12 years.
“They’re not going to roll over and let you take it,” Hamiter said. “China’s a great team. You’re going to have go to out there and earn it.”
So what’s it going to take for the U.S. to be on the top of the podium at Rio?
Over the next two years, Hamiter said this team is going to have to learn to execute just a bit better.
As he went over the stats from the final match with China in Poland, Hamiter noted Team USA and China were close in every category: aces, blocks, kills and hitting percentage. The game could have gone either way. But in the fifth game, China did what it needed for the victory.
Over the next two years, Hamiter’s goal is to help his players get to a level where they can get the key points in key situations. He’s hoping that sense of urgency and importance can be sharpened in international competitions next year, including at the ParaPan American Games in Toronto.
“You’ve got to know that every point matters,” he said. “We’ve got to execute. It’s that whole mentality. As much as we teach and preach that, it’s just competition that really builds that into the players. ….
“The players know they can play with China and that we can beat them. … It’s getting out there and getting it done.”
This particular U.S. team isn’t as experienced as China, but it has some exciting newcomers to go with veteran outside hitters Katie Holloway and Erickson – “our big go-to guns,” Hamiter said – and Monique Burkland in the middle.
Then there’s setter Kaleo Kanahele, who just turned 18. She was on the team in London but didn’t play much. At the world championships she was selected best setter of the tournament. Hamiter calls her a “perfect setter” for their offense.
In addition, Abby Mueller, who just turned 17, is an outside hitter with big potential. Nicole Nieves, 24, is another player Hamiter sees contributing in big ways over the next two years.
One good thing about clinching a spot early in the Road to Rio, Hamiter said, is that the team can focus on fundamental improvements without having to focus on qualifying.
“We can begin now, start looking, what are we gong to change, what are we going to alter, to get ready for Rio,” he said, adding, “It puts us ahead of the game a little bit.”
Erickson is eager for the work ahead and the chance to win in 2016.
“It’s still stinging at me,” she said of the world championships in Poland. “We could have won that match. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. We’re right there with them.”
Erickson recalls being on the U.S. Paralympic Team in 2008 that was just happy to get to the final. Now she wants some gold to go with all that silver.
“It’s just the little things, the small details, that we need to fix,” she said.
- Alibasic named June’s Allianz Athlete of the Month 16th July 2014 Paralympic.org
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Safet Alibasic has been named the Allianz Athlete of the Month for June 2014.
The sitting volleyball star received a staggering 62 per cent of the vote after he helped his country win the 2014 World Paravolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships in Elblag, Poland.
Alibasic was influential throughout the competition and was crowned Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament.
The Paralympic champions progressed from the group stage without dropping a single set, before beating Germany and Egypt in the quarter and semi-finals.
In the final, his team faced Brazil, the only other unbeaten side in tournament. Alibasic played a key role in the four set victory.
The triumph meant Bosnia and Herzegovina added the World title to the Paralympic gold they won at London 2012.
Alibasic won the vote ahead of Australia’s wheelchair rugby star Ryley Batt, who helped his side win the 2014 Canada Cup and Japan’s wheelchair tennis player Yui Kamiji, who won her first singles grand slam.
He also beat Canada’s wheelchair basketball athlete Janet McLachlan, who helped her country to become world champions, and Slovakian shooter Veronika Vadovicova, who claimed three gold medals at the IPC Shooting World Cup.
Alibasic has been a standout member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina sitting volleyball team for more than eight years.
A two-time Paralympian, Alibasic helped Bosnia win silver at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, when they lost to Iran in a tense final.
He then led them as they sought revenge four years later, defeating Iran on their way to their country’s only Paralympic gold medal of theLondon 2012 Games.
Since then, they have been able to carry on their momentum from London 2012, by winning the 2013 European Championships where Alibasic was also named best spiker.
- Bosnian sitting volleyball star Safet Alibasic named June’s Athlete of the Month. 16th July 2014. Zjan Shirinian
Bosnia and Herzegovina sitting volleyball player Safet Alibasic has overwhelmingly been voted Allianz Athlete of the Month for June after helping his country become world champions.
Alibasic was named Most Valuable Player after the World Paravolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships in Elblag, Poland.
The London 2012 champions progressed from the group stage without dropping a single set, before beating Germany and Egypt in the quarter and semi-finals respectively.
In the final, Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Brazil – the only other undefeated team in the tournament – in four sets.
Alibasic won the online Athlete of the Month vote with 62 per cent of the vote.
He claimed the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) accolade ahead of Australian wheelchair rugby player Ryley Batt, who helped his side win the 2014 Canada Cup, and Japanese wheelchair tennis player Yui Kamiji, who won her first singles Grand Slam at the French Open.
Canada’s wheelchair basketball athlete Janet McLachlan, who helped her country to become world champions, and Slovakian shooter Veronika Vadovicova, who claimed three gold medals at the IPC Shooting World Cup, were also nominated.
Alibasic has been a member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s sitting volleyball squad for more than eight years, helping the team win silver at Beijing 2008 after losing to Iran in the final.
Last year, he helped his team to the European Championships title.