Dispaltro, Levine and Ciobanu Head to the Quarter-Finals
Boccia Canada – Montreal, April 26, 2018 – Competition is fierce in the BISFed Montreal World Open at the Défi sportif AlterGo. Nevertheless, Canada’s representatives held their own at the Maurice-Richard Arena on Thursday, which was day two of the preliminary round of the individual tournament. Out of the ten who competed today, three will fight for a podium spot on Friday.
Marco Dispaltro (Saint-Jérôme, Quebec), Alison Levine (Côte-Saint-Luc, Quebec) and Iulian Ciobanu (Montreal, Quebec) all qualified for the BC4 quarter-finals.
“It’s very satisfying for me,” declared coach César Nicolai. “There are going to be some big games in the quarter-finals and they’ll have to play well to advance, but I’m confident they can win their matches and move forward.”
Marco Dispaltro’s Gamble Paid Off
Undefeated on Wednesday, Dispaltro started his day on Thursday with victories over American Katerine Smith and Brazilian Marcelo dos Santos.
Ranked 19th in the world, the 50-year-old then faced off against Colombia’s Euclides Grisales, who is ranked 9th in the world and who defeated the Québécois in the quarter-final at the ParaPanam Games in Toronto in 2015.
Since then, Dispaltro has had two chances to redeem himself but has been unable to do so—until today, that is, when he outscored his opponent 5-2 in front of the hometown Montreal crowd.
“My consistency was the key element. I had to come through when it counted and hide the jack at every opportunity,” noted Dispaltro.
“This was a big win,” agreed Nicolai. “It will be an important one going forward.”
Alison Levine also finished the preliminary round with three wins and no losses, adding two wins to her record on Thursday. The Canadian effortlessly ousted Bermuda’s Steve Wilson with a score of 11-1, then went on to defeat two-time Paralympic doubles medallist Dirceu Pinto of Brazil 6-3.
“Alison’s victory over Pinto was excellent!” enthused Nicolai.
Drained after an intense early round of competition, Levine found the energy to rejoice at the end of the day. “It was a really great day and I’m still undefeated.”
As for Iulian Ciobanu, he gave up only one match out of four. Moreover, in his last match of the day, he put on an excellent performance against Russia’s Ivan Frolov, winning 9-0. “It was a big win for Iulian because the Russian is above him in the world rankings,” explained Nicolai.
Éric Bussière Keeps his Chin Up
In BC3 action, Éric Bussière (Verchères, Quebec) was not quite as successful as his teammates Ciobanu, Dispaltro and Levine. The individual tournament came to an end for him once the pools were over. After two wins on Wednesday, he bowed out to Australia’s Daniel Michel 7-0 on Thursday, giving up a potential spot in the quarter-finals.
“The Australian really put me through the wringer. It’s hard to accept, but you have to put these things in perspective. I know I’m one of the best in the world. I’ll accept this loss and move on with my head held high,” stated Bussière. He will be back in action Saturday and Sunday for the pairs tournament.
Philippe Lord (Montreal, Quebec) was also eliminated after losing three matches.
Also eliminated were Hanif Mawji (Burnaby, British Columbia) and Eric Lefebvre (Montreal, Quebec) of the BC1 class, and Michael Mercer (Grand Falls-Windsor, Ontario), Benoit Ostiguy (Montreal) and Tammy McLeod (London, Ontario) of the BC2 group.
On Friday, the playoff matches and the individual medal round will be played at the Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal. The team and pairs tournaments are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
For the results and the schedule, see http://www.bisfed.com/latest-results/bisfed-2018-montreal-boccia-world-open-individual/.
About Boccia Canada
Boccia is a Paralympic sport of precision and strategy similar to lawn bowling or curling, played by athletes with Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and related disabilities. It is one of only two Paralympic sports that do not have an Olympic counterpart. Athletes compete in one of four sport classes based on their level and type of disability: BC1, BC2, BC3 and BC4. For more information on boccia, visit www.bocciacanada.ca.