Up to 192 players competing for medals in Great Britain this August
Great Britain’s David Smith is a two-time Paralympic boccia champion
Hundreds of athletes have their sights set this year on Liverpool, Great Britain, where the Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed) 2018 World Boccia Championships will take place from 9-19 August.
Up to 195 boccia players from 30 countries will go for Worlds medals, both in individual and team events.
While the competition is eight months away, here is what you need to know:
Last time out…
The year 2016 was especially a big one for many boccia players. Prior to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games were the World Individual Championships in Beijing, China.
Expect a strong Thai showing in Liverpool. The Rio 2016 Paralympic pitted Vongsa Watcharaphon and Worawut Saengampa for the gold medal in the BC2. It was Vongsa who captured the Paralympic title, but reigning world champion Saengampa will try to retain his world gold.
The BC4 could draw the biggest audience. After a shocker not reaching the Worlds finals, Hong Kong’s Yuk Wing Leung came back to win gold at Rio 2016.
South Korea’s Ho Won Jeong however seems to be in complete control of the BC3, as he holds both world and Paralympic titles.
The home crowd will have plenty to cheer for, namely in Stephen McGuire and David Smith.
Smith will try to add the BC1 world title to his Paralympic gold from Rio.
Defending BC4 champion McGuire left Rio without a medal but would hope to make up for that in August.
Competitions to watch for…
Athletes have already qualified for the World Championships via their regional Championships last year.
From now until August, they will get to test their forms at competitions around the globe.
The 2018 season will kick off on 15 March with the Boccia Regional Open in Ise, Japan. Madrid, Spain, will also host a Regional Open from 26 March.
In the Americas, Montreal, Canada, is no stranger in holding boccia events, with the World Open happening from 24 April. Farther south in Sao Paulo, Brazil, will be another Regional Open from 20 May.
The last major BISFed competition prior to the World Championships is the Povoa Boccia World Open on 2 July.
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