By Tom Degun

Goalball test_eventDecember 4 - The first Paralympic test event, the London International Goalball Tournament, has reached a conclusion with Beijing 2008 silver medallists China defeating Canada in the final to take the gold medal.

The two-day competition at the Handball Arena in the Olympic Park saw five women's teams in action with China and Canada joined by host Britain, Sweden and the United States.

China put down a firm marker for the competition at the Paralympics next year as they came out on top ahead of Canada, and the US taking bronze.

There was a disappointing fifth place finish for Britain but the silver lining for the team was that they were well supported as the goalball test event gave local residents and school children the chance to watch the sport for the first time.

The event was also used by London 2012 to test key operations including technology and timing, workforce and the transition of the field of play following last weekend's handball test event in the same venue.

"The London International Goalball Tournament has been vital for us to test our operations and to test the transition of the venue and field of play from handball to goalball, replicating the same transition as at Games time," said London 2012 Director of Sport Debbie Jevans.

"We are really happy with how both the transition and the tournament have gone and it was great to get spectators into the Handball Arena to watch world-class Paralympic sport."

Goalball is a three-a-side team sport played by visually impaired athletes using a ball with bells inside.

Deemed one of the most exciting Paralympic sports, play is conducted in silence with just the sound of the bells used to judge movement of the ball.

Goalball is one of the Paralympic events with tickets still available for next year and tickets can be bought now after they went back on sale last Friday (November 2).

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