Great Britain’s players dominated last week’s (1-4 April) Boccia European Continental Cup in Sant Cugat del Valles, Spain, winning seven medals, including four golds.
The competition began with the team and pairs events and it was Great Britain who struck gold in the BC1/BC2 team event with an impressive 10:1 win over hosts Spain. The Netherlands, who lost their semi-final on a tie break, were bronze medallists 11:5 over Russia.
Greece claimed their first gold of the event in the BC3 pairs courtesy of a 5:1 beating of the Czech Republic. Portugal defeated Great Britain 6:2 for bronze.
The BC4 pairs final was a thriller with Slovakia edging Great Britain in a tie-breaker after the scores had finished tied at 4:4. Portugal claimed their first of four bronze medals at the event with a win over Russia.
After taking one gold from three events in the team and pairs, British players dominated the individual events winning three out of the four gold medals available. Nigel Murray, Jacob Thomas and Keiran Steer all topped the podium in their respective individual BC2, BC3, and BC4 categories.
In an all-British affair, world No. 7 Murray defeated Joshua Rowe 4:1 in the final of the BC2 category, whilst Portugal’s Cristina Goncalves took the bronze with a 4:2 win over compatriot Albilio Valente.
World No. 4 Jacob Thomas showed maturity beyond his years by not losing a match all competition on his way to gold in the individual BC3 class. The 20-year-old defeated Portugal’s Armando Costa in the final to top the podium. Bronze went to Belgium’s Pieter Cilissen after he edged out Greece’s London 2012 silver medallist and world No 2. Grigorios Polychronidis 3:2.
Great Britain’s gold run continued with Steer claiming victory in the individual BC4 class. In the final the world No.19 defeated Slovakia’s Robert Durkovic, who is ranked five places above him, 5:2. Portugal’s Domingos Viera picked up the bronze thanks to a 4:0 thumping of Hungary’s Laszlo Hegedus.
One of the biggest shocks of the competition came in the BC1 category. Great Britain’s world No.1 David Smith could only manage bronze following a 7:1 win over Russia’s Mikhail Gutnik. Gold instead went to Greece’s Panagiotis Soulanis, a 4:1 victor over Smith in the semi-finals. The Greek world No.9 claimed gold with a 6:2 victory over Portugal’s Antonio Marques.
Athletes from 23 European countries took part in the four day event.