Rio 2016 Preview: Boccia

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Sport: Boccia

Events: Seven, all mixed gender (four individual, one team, two pairs)

Classification:

BC1: Cerebral Palsy, use hands or feet, may be assisted by an aid

BC2: Cerebral Palsy, use hands, not assisted by an aid

BC3: Cerebral Palsy or other disability, use a ramp, assisted by an aide (ramper)

BC4: Not Cerebral Palsy, use hands, not assisted by an aide

Venue: Riocentro (Barra Cluster)

Athlete Quota: 108

International Federation: Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed)

Preview

Asia is currently the dominant force in Boccia, especially in the BC1 and BC2 classifications with Thailand dominating the BC1 classification. Currently on top the team rankings is Thailand who are well clear of second place Great Britain but Brazil will be confident sitting in third in the world rankings and will be hoping that home court advantage can earn them a gold.

The BC3 Pair is led by Korea Republic but not far behind them is a close fight between Greece and Portugal separated by just half a rankings point. Again Brazil will be hopeful of a medal here, having won the American Championship and sitting fourth in the world rankings. Belgium may have faded recently but came third in London and will be hoping to see the success on the big stage to continue.

BC4 pair is led by two Asian Nations with Hong Kong well in front of their neighbors, China, for the World Ranking lead. But Brazil are not too far behind China, sitting in third and will be hopeful of medaling here after some strong recent performances and come in as the defending champions. Defending Bronze Medalists, Czech Republic have fallen away heavily in recent years but have managed to qualify for Rio and will be hopeful they can get it together.

Thailand dominates the BC1 individual rankings with the top two ranked players being Thai with number one being the defending champion Pattaya Tadtong. The defending silver medalist, David Smith comes in ranked third, while the defending bronze medalist, Roger Aandalen sits well down the rankings in seventh place and may struggle in Rio.

Brazil has a strong shot at gold in the BC2 individual in Maciel Santos, who currently sits second in the world rankings and comes in as the defending Paralympic Champion. His biggest challenger is the runner up from four years ago, China’s Zhiqiang Yan who will be hoping to disappoint the crowds in Rio.

Korea continues to control the BC3 individual rankings with their pairs team also being the top two ranked players in the individual world rankings. The fight for bronze will be interesting with Brazil having a hope here as well in the shape of Antonio Leme.

BC4 Individual has seen the biggest change with Hong Kong’s Yuk Wing Leung an odds on favorite to win gold, but the race behind him is tight. Brazil continues to have a shot at medals and this is true in this category with Eliseu Dos Santos currently ranked third in the world.

 

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