Liverpool 2018: Singapore’s Toh targets top finish

BC3 athlete wants to crack into top-five at August’s World Boccia Championships 12 Jul 2018
Boccia athlete Toh Sze Ning and her assistant get ready to roll ball down ramp

Toh Sze Ning is one of Singapore's medal hopefuls at the 2018 World Boccia Championships

ⒸJPT Photography/SDSC

“It was amazing and unbelievable moment for me because I honestly wasn’t expecting myself to reach the podium at all"

Singapore’s Toh Sze Ning knows she can battle with the best at the 2018 Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed) World Championships, which begin one month from today in Liverpool, Great Britain.

The BC3 athlete has done it before, especially when she least expected it at the 2017 Dubai Regional Open in the United Arab Emirates, which she says was a turning point in her career.

“It (the silver medal) was my first international individual medal,” the 24-year-old said. “It was amazing and unbelievable moment for me because I honestly wasn’t expecting myself to reach the podium at all. I was just gunning for top eight or four, so I really was very happy.”

As she gains more and more experience, the Rio 2016 Paralympian’s game is coming along.

In March’s Ise Regional Open in Japan, Toh took a top-five finish, and it is the little steps that matter.

“My goal is to hopefully get into the top four placings for the individual event,” Toh said about August’s Worlds.

Toh has experienced podium success at the regional level, winning individual bronze at last year’s ASEAN Para Games. She also helped capture the BC3 pairs bronze medal at the 2017 Asia-Oceania Championships.

But with Asia a hotbed for boccia talent Toh expects a stern test with South Korea’s world No. 3 Hansoo Kim and Hong Kong’s No. 4 Yuen Kei Ho expected to challenge for medals.

Toh could also face a challenge from her compatriots with Yu Fei Faye Lim and Nurulasyiqah Mohammad Taha also participating in the BC3 event.

But individual success is not the only goal.

Toh and Taha will partner for the pairs event.

The duo fell short of a medal in Rio. But they have been playing together since they were first introduced to the sport at a young age.

And that might be key.

“I would say me and her are friends, and the chemistry we have on and off court is honestly quite a big difference,” Toh said. “On court, we can read each other; we work together in a way that we both know what each other wants. Off the court, to me, we are friends.”

The BISFed 2018 World Boccia Championships run 12-18 August and will feature 190 athletes from 32 countries compete.