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male boccia player David Smith celebrates after throwing the ball

David Smith

Boccia
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Paralympic champion from Rio 2016, European champion in 2017 and now 2018 world champion – David Smith’s “grand slam” of titles puts him on top of the world in the BC1 individual category.

Smith stole the show at his home Worlds in Liverpool by taking an emphatic 7-2 victory over China’s Kai Sun for his first individual world gold since 2014.

Smith’s domination stems from his gold at the 2016 Paralympics, which finally came after three tries. He beat defending champion Tadtong in the quarter finals and then-world No.1 Perez in the final to pick up his first individual gold.

At the 2017 Europeans, he took down Russia’s Mikhail Gutnik in a thrilling tiebreaker that put reaffirmed his No. 1 status.

Smith learned basic boccia skills at six years old and concentrated on the sport in high school. When he made his Paralympic debut at Beijing 2008 aged 19, many realised his potential. He was part of the British team that earned gold in the team BC1-2 event, and it seemed his time would come for individual success at his home Games in London. But it was not meant to be.

Smith entered London 2012 ranked No. 2 in the world and reached the final but suffered a heartbreak loss to long-time Thai rival Pattaya Tadtong.

A year later, he claimed the European title by beating Greece’s Panagiotis Soulanis in the gold medal match.

The BC1 category became even tougher, with the likes of Netherlands’ Daniel Perez and Tadtong’s teammate Witsanu Huadpradit all in the hunt for the 2014 World Championship title. Smith had already graduated university and was able to fully focus on boccia, which helped as he secured the gold with a 9-2 victory over Huadpradit.

Results

Unit Date Rank
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Mixed Individual BC1 Pool B 1
Mixed Team BC1-BC2 Gold Medal Match 101
Mixed Team BC1-BC2 Semifinal 201
Mixed Team BC1-BC2 Quarterfinal 301
Mixed Team BC1-BC2 Pool A 2
Mixed Team BC1-BC2 Pool A 1
Mixed Individual BC1 Pool B 4
Mixed Individual BC1 Pool B 3
Mixed Individual BC1 Pool B 2
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Mixed Team BC1-2 Pool C 2012-09-02 3
Mixed Team BC1-2 Pool C 2012-09-02 1
Mixed Team BC1-2 Quarterfinal 2012-09-03 304
Mixed Team BC1-2 Semifinal 2012-09-03 202
Mixed Team BC1-2 Bronze Medal Match 2012-09-04 102
Mixed Individual BC1 1/8th final 2012-09-05 408
Mixed Individual BC1 Quarterfinal 2012-09-06 304
Mixed Individual BC1 Semifinal 2012-09-07 202
Mixed Individual BC1 Gold Medal Match 2012-09-08 101
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Mixed Team BC1-2 Pool B 2016-09-10 3
Mixed Team BC1-2 Pool B 2016-09-10 1
Mixed Team BC1-2 Pool B - Standings 2016-09-10 2
Mixed Team BC1-2 Quarterfinal 2016-09-11 1
Mixed Individual BC1 Pool B 2016-09-13 1
Mixed Individual BC1 Pool B 2016-09-14 3
Mixed Individual BC1 Pool B 2016-09-14 5
Mixed Individual BC1 Pool B - Standings 2016-09-14 2
Mixed Individual BC1 Quarterfinal 2016-09-15 1
Mixed Individual BC1 Semifinal 2016-09-15 1
Mixed Individual BC1 Gold Medal Match 2016-09-16 1