Japan's women's goalball team general manager Naoki Eguro believes the standard of competition within the sport has improved significantly since his team's triumph at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
But speaking ahead of the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games due to take place between October 18 and 24, Eguro claimed that 3-0 defeats to avengers China at the International Blind Sports Federation's (IBSA) Asia Pacific Goalball Championships in 2013 and Turkey in the bronze medal match at the IBSA Goalball World Championships earlier this year, show that the overall quality of opposition is getting stronger.
"What we learned is that the competition levels and strengths in goalball are rising well," said Eguro.
"There is only a fine line between all teams in competitions including preliminary rounds.
"So it is very important to keep our team in the best condition."
Eguro said his team are looking forward to competing against China once again when they face each other in Incheon.
And he believes they will also face stiff competition from Iran, who Japan beat in the semi-finals of the Asian Championships in 2013.
"These two teams have very excellent strengths in both offence and defence," said Eguro.
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