Three athletes and two coaches from the Japanese Men’s National Goalball team arrived at Turnstone on February 17th to train with the U.S. Men’s Goalball team. The Japanese men’s team will be staying in the goalball houses across the street during training and will leave February 22nd when the U.S. Men’s team will travel to Michigan for a tournament.
The Japanese men’s team has already qualified for the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020 as the host country and therefore will not be attending the upcoming 2019 IBSA Goalball and Judo International Qualifier event held here in Fort Wayne this upcoming summer. However, this is a great opportunity for the U.S. Men’s team to scrimmage and train with an opposing country in preparation for the International Qualifier.
The Executive Director of USABA, Mark Lucas, said, “It is imperative for our athletes to gain international experience while preparing for the International Qualifier being hosted in Fort Wayne, IN this summer. Japan is a tough team and will give us great practice and an extra edge for future competitions. We [USABA & Turnstone] are excited to host this opportunity for our athletes.”