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Boccia Canada – (April 27- Montreal, QC) It was a silver day for Team Canada on the court at the Boccia World Open at Defi Sportif AlterGo.

In pairs BC4 play, Marco Dispaltro (Montreal, QC), Alison Levine (Montreal, QC) and Iulian Ciobanu (Montreal, QC) conquered their first two games, starting with an 8-1 win over Argentina and following up with 9-0 win over Japan in the semi-final round. The real challenge came in the gold medal match against Slovakia.

The first end was very close. Dispaltro and Levine set up a strong good defence and Dispaltro was able to climb his last ball up on the top of the Slovakian balls clustered around the jack to make the score 1-1. Unfortunately Slovakian captain Samuel Andrejcik was able to chip away at this set up with his final three balls and the final score of the end was 2-1 for Slovakia.

Undaunted, the Canadians stormed back in the second end to take two points and a 3-2 lead.

The third end was a power struggle, with control of the jack changing back and forth many times between the two teams, but Slovakia ultimately prevailed to take one point and tie the game.

In the final end, with the gold medal on the line, Canada had the opportunity to take control but unfortunately missed an easy shot on an open jack. Slovakia took advantage and made the shot to score the winning point. BC4 Coach César Nicolaï commented that “Overall, Canada played a very good close game which is looking positive on the road to Rio in September.”

Pairs BC4 captain Marco Dispaltro had this to say about the pairs silver medal performance. “I loved the way we played today. I really think it’s a sign of things to come!”

Slovakia also blocked Canada’s medal hopes in the BC1/2 team bronze medal match. Slovakia played an excellent first end which allowed them to jump ahead early in the game and they never looked back, holding Canada to one point in the final end. Looking forward, BC1/2 coach Ed Richardson mentioned, “Although it’s frustrating to lose a medal opportunity, we were able to take a positive away by scoring in the final end. We had several rookies on the team this year and this was a great learning opportunity for them. I’m excited to move forward with this group of athletes into the future.”

In pairs BC3 play, the Team Canada pair of Paul Gauthier (Vancouver, BC), Eric Bussiere (Vercheres, QC) and Phillipe Lord (Montreal, QC) just missed the playoffs after a losing their final round robin match to a strong pair from France. The pair forced France to work for each point, playing strong shots in all areas of the court, but was not able to score when it counted. France was able to take advantage and finish the match with a 6-0 win.

Head Coach Mario Delisle wrapped up the day saying, “Overall we played strong games today, and we walked away feeling like a stronger team. We know where we need to improve and we will be working on those areas over the next few months.”
Individual play at the Boccia World Open at the Defi Sportif AlterGo begins tomorrow.  

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.