Eight nations are heading to Sydney to compete in the in the 2013 BISFed Boccia Asia-Oceania Championships, which begin on Friday (18 October) and run for nine days.
Seventy-six athletes from nine countries will take part, as several Paralympic medallists from China, South Korea and Thailand look to continue their dominating form.
Here is a brief run-down of the teams taking part in the third and last of this year’s regional boccia competitions.
Their 2013 BC1 national champion Mecenzi Howard will be one of six making their international debut for the host nation, with BC2 competitors Lachlan Kavanagh and Fiona Lyons adding experience to the squad.
Spearheading a strong Chinsese side is the London 2012 silver-medal winning BC1/BC2 pair Qi Zhang and Ziqiang Yan, and the team also has another London 2012 silver medallist in the form of BC4 player Yuansen Zheng.
Hong Kong will feel that their best hopes of winning in the medal will come in the BC4 category, with both world No. 5 and 6, Wai Yan Lau and Yuk Wing Leung, competing in that event.
Japan’s last major boccia podium triumph was a silver medal in the team’s BC1/BC2 event at the 2011 World Cup. They will be looking to the likes of BC2 competitor Takayuki Hiroshe to achieve a podium place in Sydney.
With London 2012 gold medallist Ye Jin Choi not travelling to Sydney to compete, their next strongest athlete Ho Won Jeong of the BC3 class will aim to lead his nation to success.
Travelling with the smallest squad of just four athletes, BC1 competitor Tang U Kei looks to be their strongest performer, having played well in previous tournaments.
BC3 athlete Greig Jackson is New Zealand’s most experienced squad member, having participated at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Paralympics. Matthew Whiting and Fleur Mann will make their international debut in the BC2 event.
Nurulasyiqah Binte Mohammad Taha, who is ranked No. 8 in the world, could end up going head-to-head against Korea’s Jeong for the BC3 title.
London 2012 double gold medallist Pattaya Tadtong, one of the IPC’s Ones to Watch on the road to Rio 2016, will be looking to dominate the individual BC1 class once again, and also look to help his nation win gold in the team event.