This year’s Paralympic boccia tournament in Paris promises to be the most geographically diverse in the sport’s history.

If there was one significant takeaway from the recent São Paulo 2024 World Boccia Cup in Brazil, it was the high number of countries represented in the finals and the widespread distribution of medals.

A total of 19 of the 24 countries at the competition took their place in the finals and 12 different nations came away with medals – hosts Brazil, Indonesia, Great Britain, Colombia, Turkey, Peru, Netherlands, Ecuador, Ukraine, Argentina, Germany and USA.

Added to that has been the continuing trend for new nations to emerge as competitive forces and the fact that the sport is clearly not dominated by a small number of high-ranking countries.

“We have a sport where it is common for the world No.1 or No.3 to lose to the world No.12 or No.15,” says World Boccia Operations Manager, Dominique Tremblay.

“In boccia that now happens quite often and more often than in any other Paralympic sport I know of.”

One example of the broadening of that competitive base in São Paolo was a first World Cup gold medal for Peru.

It was won by Niurka Callupe, a BC3 female, together with assistant Carolina Vela, who beat Evelyn Oliveira and assistant Petrúcio Ferreira.

Peru also reached the final of the BC3 Pairs, where they were denied a second gold by Turkey.

The South American nation’s success underlines the huge strides made by Peruvian athletes, but is also a reflection of the commendable progress of the sport more generally in that country.

World Boccia Competitions Manager Gustavo Alvarim says: “When Peru organised the 2019 Parapan American Games, they had nothing – no athletes, no referees or officials and no proper equipment.

“Yet just five years later, they have won an individual gold medal. That’s an amazing achievement.”

As some nations contribute to that growing breadth of competitiveness little more than two months out from the Paris Paralympics, others are flexing their muscles to prove the depth of their squads.

Host nation Brazil picked up eight medals in total – two golds, four silver and two bronze – with BC1 female Alien Flores and BC2 male Maciel Santos both winning individual titles.

Indonesia reaffirmed their growing stature with five medals – two gold, two silver and a bronze. Their golds came from BC1 male Muhamad Syafa, along with BC1/2 Team gold after beating Great Britain.

There are now just two World Cup Boccia events left before Paris – the Póvoa de Varzim 2024 World Boccia Cup in Portugal, July 8-16, followed by the New Taipei City 2024 World Boccia Cup in Taiwan, July 23 to August 1.

There are also two remaining World Boccia Challenger events – the Poznan 2024 World Boccia Challenger (June 24 – July 2) and Cairo 2024 World Boccia Challenger (July 16 – 22).

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