There will not be a long interlude between the end of the team and pairs competition and the start of the individual tournament at the Boccia World Open in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal on Thursday.
The BC1/BC2, BC3 and BC4 categories championship game and bronze medal game will likely wrap up between 10-10:15 a.m. EST. The first individual bocce showdowns begin at 11 a.m.
Canada has six athletes competing in the individual tournament — three are battling for BC3 gold and three are vying for BC4 glory.
Paul Gauthier, Philippe Lord and Éric Bussière are Canada’s BC3 representatives in a field of 38 players. Gauthier has been placed in Pool D, Lord in Pool E and Bussière in Pool I.
Bussière is ranked No.19 in the Boccia International Sports Federation (BisFed) BC3 individual world rankings— the highest of the three Canadian Bc3 competitors. Gauthier is ranked No.36, while Lord at just 22-years-old, is not listed in the top 130.
Here is the complete round robin schedule for Canada’s BC3 athletes:
- Thurs., June 16, 12 p.m.- Gauthier vs. Samir Van Der Beken (France).
- Thurs., June 16, 1:15 p.m. – Lord vs. Kamil Vašícek (Czech Republic).
- Thurs., June 16, 1:15 p.m. – Bussière vs. Damian Iskrzycki (Poland).
- Fri., June 17, 5 a.m – Gauthier vs. Carlotta Visconti (Italy).
- Fri., June 17, 6:15 a.m. – Lord vs.Sze Ning Toh (Singapore).
- Fri., June 17, 6:15 a.m. – Bussière vs. Jirí Svojanovský (Czech Republic).
- Fri., June 17, 9:30 a.m. – Gauthier vs. Patrick Wilson (Great Britain).
- Fri., June 17, 9:30 a.m. – Lord vs. Tanija Madsen (Denmark).
- Fri., June 17, 9:30 a.m. – Bussière vs. Maksim Vasilyev (Russia).
Eighth final and quarter final games will occur on Saturday.
Marco Dispaltro, Alison Levine and Caroline Vietnieks will seek to build upon their strong performance in the BC4 pairs competition with a strong showing in the individual stage of the open.
Dispaltro, the No.5 ranked BC4 player in the world, is perhaps Canada’s best hope for an individual medal. The 48-year-old from Montreal, Que. won a silver medal in B4 singles at the 2011 Parapan Am Games in Guadalajara. He will compete in Pool C.
At No.15 in the world, Levine is the second-highest ranked female on the BISFed list. She is behind only Wai Yan Lau (No.10) of Hong Kong. The Montreal native will also be considered a medal threat. Levine will battle for Pool F supremacy.
Vietnieks, who resides in Vancouver, B.C., is ranked No.44 in the international rankings. She has been placed into Pool B.
Here is the complete round robin schedule for Canada’s BC4 athletes:
- Fri., June 17, 4 a.m. – Vietnieks vs.Eliseu dos Santos
- Fri., June 17, 4 a.m. – Dispaltro vs. Matjaž Bartol (Slovenia)
- Fri., June 17, 7:30 a.m. – Vietnieks vs. Evie Edwards (Great Britain)
- Fri., June 17, 8:30 a.m. – Levine vs. Bastian Keller (Germany)
- Fri., June 17, 12 p.m. – Dispaltro vs. Ivan Frolov (Russia)
- Fri., June 17, 12 p.m. – Levine vs. Samuel Andrejcik (Slovakia)
Eighth final and quarter final games will take place on Saturday.
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Photo Credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee