Budapest 2019: Pools for Euros confirmed

Sitting volleyball competition is key step to 2020 Paralympics

a group of male and female sitting volleyball players celebrate Russia claimed both the men's and women's European titles in 2017 © • Daniele Celesti

The pools for the European Sitting Volleyball Championships were drawn in Budapest, Hungary, on Sunday ahead of the competition which runs from 15-20 July.

Both Russian teams are looking to defend the men’s and women’s continental titles after they defeated Ukraine in the finals to take the titles in Porec, Croatia, two years ago.

Budapest 2019 is especially important because the highest-ranked team in both events, not otherwise qualified, will secure a spot at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Men’s event

Two pools of six teams each were drawn, with the four best from each advancing into the quarter finals. The playoffs start on 18 July, with the finals taking place two days after.

Russia were drawn in a tough-looking pool B alongside Paralympic and Worlds silver medallists Bosnia & Herzegovina, Poland, Netherlands, Croatia and Turkey.

Meanwhile, hosts Hungary will share Pool A with 2017 European runners-up and 2018 Worlds bronze medallists Ukraine, Germany, Latvia, Serbia and Lithuania.

Women’s event

Nine teams were divided into two groups of four and five respectively.

Reigning world and European champions Russia will join Ukraine, Finland, Italy and Great Britain in Pool B.

Hosts Hungary were drawn in Pool A together with Slovenia, Croatia and Germany.

ParaVolley Europe President Branko Mihorko stressed the importance of this year’s European Championships, as well as the introduction of a Group B in 2020 to allow all nations in the continent to compete.

More information is available on Budapest 2019’s website.