Previewing Lima 2019: Canadian sitting volleyball and goalball teams to fight for Paralympic Games spots

Canadian Paralympic Committee

August 16, 2019

A berth for Tokyo 2020 is on the line


OTTAWA – A berth for Tokyo 2020 is on the line for Canada’s men’s and women’s sitting volleyball and goalball teams at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games

In sitting volleyball, the Canadian women’s team, with nine of 12 players with Games experience including eight 2016 Paralympians, needs to win or finish second behind world number-one USA for the ticket to Tokyo. The Americans qualified as worlds silver medallists in 2018.

Sitting volleyball made its Parapan Ams debut for the women in 2015. The USA won the gold medal, Brazil was second and Canada took the bronze and qualified for Rio 2016, making history by becoming the first Canadian team to make the Paralympic Games in the sport. They finished seventh in Rio and were also seventh at the world championships last year.

In Lima there are four countries in the women’s tournament: Canada (ranked sixth in the world), USA, Brazil (world number-three), and Peru. 

On the men’s side, Canada, with five returnees from the 2015 Games, hopes to qualify for its first Paralympic Games in the sitting version of the sport.

There are six countries in men’s play in Lima. Canada (#16), USA (#8), Brazil (#2), Colombia (#26), Costa Rica (#19) and Peru. In 2015, USA, Brazil and Canada were 1-2-3.

Both the men’s and women’s tournaments for Canada run from August 24-28.

In goalball, a sport for the visually impaired, the Parapan Am tournaments are a direct qualifier for Tokyo. The women must either win or place second or third behind USA and/or Brazil only in both instances. The men must either win or place second behind world number-one Brazil. 

The Games are the last chance to qualify for the Tokyo Games for the men. The women could have a second chance depending on results in other regional events.

Both the men’s and women’s teams captured bronze four years ago at the Toronto Games to qualify for the Rio Paralympics.

The Canadian women were fourth at the world championships last year, missing an early ticket to Tokyo by just one spot.

Canada will compete in women’s round-robin action alongside Brazil (#2), Peru (#43), Costa Rica (#27), Mexico (#24), and USA (#7), with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals. 

The men will play against USA (#7), Peru (#64), and Venezuela (#51) in Pool B action, with all eight participating nations then seeded for the quarterfinals based on their round-robin performance.

Seven of the 12 players on both Canadian teams combined are Paralympians.

The goalball tournament runs from August 25-31. Brazil, USA and Canada were 1-2-3 in both tournaments in 2015.

Canada is sending a team of 151 athletes to the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games, taking place August 23 to September 1.

For more information on the Canadian Parapan Am Team, please visit

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