Paralympians Daniel Perez and Maciel Santos returned to the boccia spotlight, as the 2019 Montreal Boccia World Open in Canada ended on Saturday.
For Perez, a former world No. 1 in the BC1 category, his 5-2 victory over Slovakia’s Tomas Kral was promising ahead of the European Championships in August.
The Dutchman’s highest finish at a major level was silver at the Rio 2016 Paralympics but had struggled since, having missed the podium at the 2017 European Championships. At last year’s World Championships, Perez took away bronze and emphasised his comeback by opening his season with a win.
Portugal’s Antonio Marques defeated Brazil’s Jose Carlos Chagas de Oliveira for bronze.
Paralympic champion triumphs
Santos also celebrated a long-awaited victory by taking the BC2 title in Montreal. The Brazilian had no trouble defeating Russia’s Dmitry Kozmin 4-1 in the final.
A London 2012 gold medallist, Santos failed to live up to expectations at his home Paralympics in 2016 and did not make the top 10 at the 2018 Worlds. But success in Montreal was the first step toward a regional title in October.
Portugal’s Abilio Valente cruised to the bronze medal over Canada’s Danik Allard.
Alison Levine did bring joy to the home crowd with a resounding 6-0 win over South Korea’s Seongyuk Jang in the BC4 final. It was an early birthday gift for Levine, who turns 29 on 11 May. The win establishes her at the No. 3 world ranking position, making her the only female so far sitting in the top three.
Slovakia’s Samuel Andrejcik had a similar blowout victory over Germany’s Boris Nicolai in the third-place match.
In the BC3 final, the Czech Republic’s Adam Peska overcame Rio 2016 Paralympic bronze medallist Jose Macedo of Portugal.
Singapore’s Nurulasyiqah Mohammad Taha topped Brazil’s Mateus Carvalho to complete the podium.
Argentina won the team BC1/BC2 gold. Poland came away with the BC3 pairs title, and Russia captured the BC4 pairs prize.
Complete results from the 2019 Montreal Boccia World Open are available on BISFed’s website.