Canada Sees a Successful First Day at Boccia World Open in Montreal
Boccia Canada – April 26, 2016- Montreal, QC) Day one of competition at the Boccia World Open at the Defi Sportif AlterGo in Montreal saw Canada taking three out of four possible wins for pairs and team play.
BC4 pairs Marco Dispaltro (Montreal, QC) and Iulian Ciobanu (Montreal, QC) started things off with a 5-4 win over Chile. It was a hard fought victory as Chile took four points in the second end and was leading the game. Alison Levine (Montreal, QC) came in as a substitute and helped turn things around. “I’m very happy with my performance today. I was subbed in and took control of the game. I completely hid the Jack in the fourth end and Chile was unable to regain the point.”
BC4 Coach, César Nicolaï, also commented on the BC4 performance, “The ice is broken for the BC4 Canadians. We got the win we wanted as it was hard to defend against the Chilean team players who have progressed since last year. We met our objective for today. Another important match awaits us tomorrow morning and we will have to win to go to the semi-final!”
Levine adds, “Now that we are warmed up, we are ready to go and hopefully bring home another gold medal for Canada!”
The BC1/2 team of Adam Dukovich (Ottawa, ON), Mike Mercer (St,John’s, NF) and Hanif Mawji (Vancouver, BC) lost a close match 5-3 against Slovakia. The team was ready to bounce back with a strong performance against Argentina, but instead earned a rare win by forfeit when Argentina failed to check in by the re quired time.
The closest game of the day came in the final round, when Paul Gauthier (Vancouver, BC) and Eric Bussiere (Vercheres, QC) faced Denmark in BC3 pairs, where athletes play using a ramp. The Canadians got off to a rough start, leaving the jack open and allowing Denmark to steal five points in the first end. The pair didn’t let the rocky start rattle them, and improved over the following two ends, making better shots and gaining a point here and there. They went into the final end down by just two points. The final end was a nail biter, with each side trading shots and Canada unable to secure two points to force a tie-break end. With just ten seconds on the clock, Bussiere made a beautiful shot to push his ball into the jack, score two points and send the game into overtime, much to the delight of the hometown crowd.
The close play of the previous end carried over into overtime, with both sides working hard to secure the game-winning point. Gauthier and Bussiere worked well together to open the jack for Gauthier to make a great displacement shot that left Canada scoring one for the win.
Semi-finals in the team and pairs divisions begin tomorrow, along with the preliminary rounds for individual play.
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About Boccia Canada
Boccia Canada is the boccia delivery arm of the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association (CCPSA), the National Sport Organization for the Paralympic sport of boccia. Boccia Canada is focused on providing athletes and individuals of all ages and skill with the chance to play a unique Paralympic sport. CCPSA and its provincial partners cooperate as a proactive force to facilitate the development of equitable and fair sporting opportunities for athletes with cerebral palsy and related disabilities.
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