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Hidrej scores first international goal as Great Britain u19s claim bronze in World Youth Goalball championships

Windsor’s Nansi Hidrej scored her first international goal as Great Britain’s u19s team took bronze in the Goalball World Youth Championships in Australia.

The team played the hosts, and reigning champions, in their first match, beating them 3-1 with a hat-trick from Antonia Bunyan. They continued their perfect start with a 5-3 win over South Korea before Hidrej netted her first international goal in a one-sided 12-3 pool match win over Thailand. Bunyan netted seven in the same game.

In a repeat of their opening fixture Great Britain were beaten 4-3 by Australia in a tense, competitive semi-final before rounding off the tournament with a fantastic 10-4 victory over South Korea in the bronze medal match.

After the tournament, head coach Aaron Ford said: “We are incredibly proud of the battling performances from this young team throughout the competition.

“It was unfortunate that we couldn’t quite make it to the final for a shot at the gold, but the girls have shown how immensely talented they are and the significant potential they possess. Each member of the squad demonstrated great levels of maturity on and off the court.”

Faye Dale, national talent lead for Goalball UK, said: “Goalball UK has been extremely proactive with its talent pathway, which gives these excellent young athletes the tools and experiences to compete at the highest level. 

“Having the opportunity to perform at the World Youth Championships against some of the best young goalball players from across the world, and take home a bronze medal, is a major milestone for any player that wants to reach the pinnacle of the sport.”

This is the first time GB has entered a female u19s team in an international tournament. Each player has come through Goalball’s UK talent pathway.

Goalball is a paralympic sport for visually impaired and blind athletes. It consists of two teams of three players attempting to throw a ball containing a ball across the floor into their opponents’ net.

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