The world’s top boccia athletes will get to perfect their gaming strategies ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, when the BISFed 2016 World Open begins on Monday (13 June) in Povoa de Varzim, Portugal.
Although the Paralympic qualification period is closed, the World Open will provide valuable ranking points for 2017, which will affect qualification for the BISFed 2018 World Championships.
The World Open will contest all seven Paralympic events, with 107 athletes from 21 different countries including: Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Poland and Singapore.
The Netherlands’ Daniel Perez will be looking to add to the gold he won at the 2015 World Open in the BC1 individual. Great Britain’s David Smith is ranked second in the world at the end of the 2015 season and will compete in both the individual BC1 and team BC1-BC2. British teammate and No. 4 Jacob Thomas will headline the BC3 category.
Brazil’s Maciel Sousa Santos, ranked No. 2 in the BC2 class, will look to get some tough competition in as he goes for gold in his home country this September. Fellow Brazilian teammate and London 2012 gold medallist Direcu Jose Pinto will be looking for a final tune-up ahead of the Games.
But Pinto will be challenged by Canadian Marco Dispaltro, who took bronze in the individual category in London 2012.
The competition runs until 19 June in what has been known as the “capital of boccia,” hosted by Paralisia Cerebral Associaçao Nacional de Desporto (PCAND).
Original article written by Louise Brooks, Volunteer Writer for the IPC