COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 16, 2021) – With 100 days to go until the Tokyo Paralympic Games, which begin Aug. 24, the U.S. Women’s and Men’s Sitting National Teams are in two different places.
The U.S. WSNT, ranked No. 1 in the world, goes into Tokyo as the defending gold medalist. The team qualified in 2018 by taking silver at the ParaVolley World Championships.
The U.S. MSNT, ranked No. 7, have one more chance to qualify for the Paralympics at a tournament on June 1-5 in Duisburg, Germany. The qualifying tournament has been postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Men will compete for one Paralympic spot against teams from Germany, Canada, Croatia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
The U.S. WSNT won gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games after taking the bronze medal in 2004 and silver in 2008 and 2012.
The U.S. Women beat their rival China in the gold-medal match, 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-18). This was after China’s women had defeated the U.S. in pool play, 3-2 (25-17, 14-25, 14-25, 28-26, 15-13).
The only player that retired after Rio was libero Kari Miller. The rest of the team went on to take silver at the 2018 ParaVolley World Championships, where it lost to Russia in the final.
In 2019, the U.S. WSNT did not lose a match, taking gold at the Parapan American Games and the World Super Six tournament. It swept Russia three times at the World Super Six.
The U.S. MSNT finished eighth out of eight teams at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, but it has been on the upswing since then.
It took eighth out of 16 teams at the 2018 World Championships and finished second at the 2019 Parapan American Games. It finished 4-3 at a 2019 tournament in Netherlands, taking wins over Germany and Netherlands and giving a strong showing against Ukraine.
The top three ranked men’s sitting teams are Iran, Brazil and Egypt.