Trying to keep up to date with the amount of interest in sitting volleyball has been and still is an immense task. The Rio games made things simpler by offer less knockout matches than in London. Yet the media attention has been much more.
Each captured site has so far been saved and the plan is to continue with previous games by providing the text, however it may take a few weeks to do this.
The first thing to mention is the new champions of women’s Paralympics. Each time the USA team have been edging closer and closer to good, but last nights win was complete dominance of serve and block tactics combined with resilient defence and an errorful Chinese team. This is an excellent example of perseverance in national team programmes. Since 2004, the USA team have only had two head coaches, and the team remains young and very talented. Whereas the Chinese team have had two head coaches too, but fewer younger players.
The next thing to mention has captured news from around the world. The tallest player in Paralympic history is playing in the Iranian sitting volleyball team. Following the loss to Brazil in semi final of the world championship in Poland, 2014, Iran were in disarray. They publicly announced that they appointed a new head coach. A lack of international competitions gave much opportunity to test the new coaching, but rather the return on the head coach at the intercontinental cup 2016 with the tallest player. At that championship their biggest rivals, Bosnia and Herzegovina did not attend and so the Paralympics is the first time the two teams get to see each other. To change tactics to work with someone with such attacking height takes a long time. It would be a miracle for Bosnia to work so quickly to adjust to make a match even closer to being competitive (perhaps mirroring the women’s final). More on this too come later.
Finally, in this short summary is the was Brazil have done so well in such a short time. Their sitting volleyball programme has been short, particularly with the women. However for them to claim the bronze must have been a feat that many nations can look up to with anticipation. A funny event did happen during this match, and that was the commentary team suggesting that the first referee gets a yellow card for time delay since she had to borrow the cards off the second referee when trying to give the team for a time delay. Brazil men are expected to win a medal in Rio, but they lost a tough 5 set match in the pool play to Egypt to suggest the match would be the most exciting of the entire tournament.
Watch this space for more results, summaries and the media