Two months ago the first serve of the 2018 World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships took place by China’s Xuemei Tang in the opening match of the women’s tournament against tournament debutants Italy in the Musis – Stadstheater in Arnhem.
Defending champions China went on to win the opening point and the match in straight sets before the two teams played again later in the tournament, which ran from July 15-22, for the bronze medal in Rotterdam on July 21.
The 2018 edition of the World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships in the Netherlands turned out to be a huge success with Russia winning the women’s edition for the first time and Iran becoming the men’s champions for the seventh time.
“The 2018 World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships certainly set the bar high for us in terms of the quality of Sitting Volleyball played throughout the tournament and the presentation and promotion of the sport not only locally but around the world via our global online communication network,” World ParaVolley President Barry Couzner OAM said after the tournament. “It was the first time ever we had an equal split of teams – 16 – per gender illustrating World ParaVolley’s drive towards gender equality. It’s also the first time we have staged the World Championships across five different cities and the first time theatres were used as venues, proving to be a great masterstroke in terms of generating an amazing atmosphere and drama to proceedings – thanks to the innovative Organizers. I recall the Theatres of Dreams as one of the headlines prior to the start of the tournament and it certainly was the case. Dreams were realised in these stunning venues with Russia winning the Women’s World Championship for the first time and the I R Iran men claiming their seventh world title.”
The Italy women’s team finished fourth on debut while USA were looking to add the World Championship title to their Rio Olympic gold medals but fell at the final hurdle, losing to Russia in the final.
Iran proved too good for defending champions Bosnia & Herzegovina in the men’s final to add to their Olympic title in Rio two years earlier.
It is the sixth time that the Sitting Volleyball powerhouse has held the World Championship and Paralympic titles together.