By Nick Butler

Great Britain celebrate their European goalball C-division title ©IBSA GoalballECC2015Great Britain have won the International Blind Sport Federation (IBSA) Goalball European Championships Men's C-Division in Malmö, Sweden, after a thrilling extra time final win over Russia.

With the two teams locked at 5-5 when regulation time ended, the London 2012 Paralympic hosts broke the deadlock to secure a superb victory.

Portugal secured third place with a 9-4 win over Italy, building on a 5-4 halfway lead, with the result a surprise considering the Portuguese are ranked 41st in the world in comparison with their 32nd-ranked opponents.  

All three podium finishes will now be promoted to the men's B-division competition in 2016.

Great Britain clashing with Russia during the final of the third tier European event ©TwitterGreat Britain clashing with Russia during the final of the third tier European event ©Twitter

Russia's Sergey Avdoshkin was the tournament's leading player with a total of 23 goals, one ahead of Croatia's Kristijan Dodig, despite the fact the Croats finished last in the seven-team event, with Greece fifth and Bulgaria sixth.

A B-division Championships in Budapest will be followed by an A-tier event in Kaunas, Lithuania in July. 

The hosts will be joined by teams from Spain, Turkey, Germany, Czech Republic, World Championship runners-up Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Ukraine and last year's B-division winners Slovenia, with Rio 2016 Paralympic qualification opportunities a major incentive. 

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
January 2015: High profile Lithuanians try out goalball as country prepares to host European Championships
December 2015: Lithuanian President expresses support for European Goalball Championships