The first round of the BISFed 2016 World Individual Championships opened with a huge shock, as Great Britain’s David Smith fell to Argentina’s Mauricio Javier Ibarbure in the BC1 class. Ibarbure did not make a single mistake over the course of the game to earn his 5-1 victory on Monday (21 March) in Beijing, China. The defeat leaves world No. 2 Smith needing everything to go in his favour if he is to progress into the knockout stages.
Also in the BC1, Russia’s Ekaterina Sedova looked to have her match won. Going into the final, the Russian was up 5-1, but a long jack from Greece’s Panagiotis Prokopis Soulanis followed by an accurate first ball left Sedova under pressure. Unfortunately for the Russian, Sedova was unable to trouble the jack and left the door wide open for Soulanis. The Greek did not disappoint and wasted no time placing shot after shot next to the jack, and with his final ball ensuring an emphatic 6-5 victory.
In the BC3 competition, Canada’s Eric Bussiere and Slovakia’s Adam Burianek were the match-up to watch. Bussiere took a 3-1 lead into the final end, but the Slovakian was able to get the two points needed to take force a 3-3 tie. Burianek went on to taking the tiebreak with his final ball.
The loudest action came from the BC4 event. Great Britain’s Stephen McGuire and Canada’s Ilulian Ciobanu were locked at 2-2 going into the final and displayed some of the best boccia of the day in the final end to take the score to 3-3. McGuire landed his final blue closest to the jack but left Ciobanu with chance to take the win with his final ball. Despite the encouragement from the Canadian supporters, Ciobanu was unable to deliver and McGuire took the victory.
The full results from day one the BISFed 2016 World Individual Championships are available on BISFed’s website. Competition continues Tuesday (22 March).
The World Individual Championships will be the final opportunity for athletes to earn valuable world ranking points ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The competition runs until 25 March and will feature 137 athletes from 31 countries set to battle over four medal events.
A livestream is available online, and the Championships can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #2016BISFedWIC.