Ones to watch for 2017 for boccia and cycling announced

10 boccia athletes and nine cyclists have been named as players to look out for in 2017. 10 Jan 2017
Collage with 22 sports images

Between 9-19 January around 230 athletes from all 22 Paralympic summer sports will be named Ones to Watch for 2017.


On Tuesday (10 September), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced the Ones to Watch athletes for 2017 for boccia and cycling.

Selected in partnership with BISFed and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the Ones to Watch athletes are individuals who have the potential to make the headlines in boccia and cycling during the next Paralympic cycle ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

With one eye on the next Paralympic Games, many of this year’s Ones to Watch are young athletes who will develop between now and Tokyo 2020. Others are Paralympic and world medallists looking to stay at the top of their game.

Between now and 19 January, the IPC will announce Ones to Watch athletes in two sports each day. Around 230 athletes from 22 sports will be named Ones to Watch for 2017 in an effort to make it easier for the public and media to understand which athletes to look out for.

The 2017 Ones to Watch for boccia and cycling are:


David Smith (GBR)

After winning mixed team BC1-2 gold on his Paralympic debut at Beijing 2008, Smith finally won individual gold at Rio 2016, improving on the silver he won at London 2012.

Watcharaphon Vongsa (THA)

Vongsa was a star performer at Rio 2016 topping the podium in both the individual BC2 and team BC2 events.

So Yeong Jeong (KOR)

The London 2012 bronze medallist failed to medal at Rio 2016 but after winning team gold at the 2016 World Open in Montreal, Canada, will be hoping for better luck in 2017.

Grigorious Polychronidis (GRE)

The Greek BC 3 player has won a medal at every Paralympic Games he has competed in since making his debut at Beijing 2008. At Rio 2016 he won individual silver and mixed pairs bronze.

Han Soo Kim (KOR)

Kim is a two-time Paralympian who won the BC3 world title in 2014. At Rio 2016 he won silver in the mixed pairs. He is supported on court by his mother who acts as his assistant.

Samuel Andrejcik (SVK)

Aged just 20 at Rio 2016, Andrejcik won mixed pairs BC4 gold and silver in the mixed individual BC4 event. A young talent on the road to Tokyo 2020.

Pornchok Larpyen (THA)

A winner of two bronze medals at Rio 2016 after success in the individual BC4 and mixed team BC4 events.

Pattaya Tadtong (THA)

Tadtong enjoyed mixed fortunes at Rio 2016. He was part of the Thai team that defended its BC1-2 team title from four years ago but failed to retain his individual BC1 title.

Hidetaka Sugimura (JPN)

Sugimura captained the Japanese team to mixed team BC1-2 team silver at Rio 2016. His first international medal was a bronze at the 2016 World Championships.

Evelyn de Oliveria (BRA)

Her Paralympic debut in Rio ended in glory as part of the gold medal winning mixed pairs BC3 team. She will be hoping to transfer team gold into individual success in 2017.


Sarah Storey (GBR)

After winning three gold medals at Rio 2016, Storey cemented her position as Great Britain´s most decorated female Paralympian. She has now won 25 medals, including 14 golds, since her debut in 1992.

Alyda Norbruis (NED)

Finished the 2015 track World Championships as the biggest medal winner and at her second Paralympics won gold on both the track and the road, as well as a bronze in the 3km pursuit.

Iwona Podkoscielna (POL)

After winning two world titles in 2015, Podkoscielna won gold at her first Paralympics in Rio together with pilot Alexsandra Teclaw in the road race.

Li Zhangyu (CHN)

At his second Paralympic Games, C1 rider Zhangyu Li excelled in the Rio 2016 velodrome winning two golds and breaking as many world records.

Yegor Dementyev (UKR)

No matter whether it was on the road or in the velodrome, Yegor Dementyev was in outstanding form at Rio 2016 picking up Paralympic gold in each of the venues.

Carol Cooke (AUS)

At her second Paralympics in Rio, the Australian retained her time trial gold from London 2012 and also won the road race.

Jozef Metelka (SVK)

Since 2014, Metelka has topped the track world rankings in his C4 class in each year he has competed. At Rio 2016 he underlined his quality winning two golds and one silver medal.

Alex Zanardi (ITA)

The former Formula 1 driver retained his individual time trial title at Rio 2016 and also won gold in the mixed team relay. Picked up silver in the individual road race.

Vincent Ter Schure (NED)

At his first Paralympic Games, Ter Schure won one gold and two silver medals at Rio 2016 together with his guide Timo Fransen, performing well both in the velodrome and on the road.

On Wednesday (11 January), the IPC will announce Ones to Watch athletes in football 5-a-side and wheelchair tennis.