Former world No. 1 Daniel Perez can continue his return to top form at the 2019 Olbia Boccia Regional Open from Thursday in Italy.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallist has been working his way back from injury and looks for his second individual win in the BC1 category this year.
Currently ranked No. 3 in the world, Perez leads his field, with Russia’s second-seed Mikhail Gutnik perhaps his toughest match-up.
A win for Perez, who took bronze at the 2018 World Championships in Liverpool, Great Britain, would add onto his victory from the Montreal World Open in May. It would also set him up well for the 2019 European Championships in August in Seville, Spain.
Boris Nicolai, also a Worlds bronze medallist, will hope for victory in Olbia and momentum for the Europeans, as he heads the BC4 line-up. The German is coming off a fourth-place finish from last month’s competition in Montreal but would hope not to repeat that this week.
Portugal would also like to see their athletes in Jose Macedo (BC3) and Abilio Valente (BC2) bring home medals.
European Championships bronze medallist Valente has fond memories from Olbia last year after winning his individual event. After a third-place finish in Montreal, the Portuguese athlete would aim for his first victory of 2019.
As for Rio 2016 bronze medallist Macedo, success in Olbia would make up for his finals disappointment in Montreal.
The Olbia Boccia Regional Open runs until Sunday, and live results will be available on BISFed’s website.