Sport Week: Boccia players to watch

Here are some boccia players likely to make headlines at Tokyo 2020 11 Mar 2020
female boccia player Alison Levine takes a shot
Alison Levine will be one of the top names competing in Tokyo

The world’s best boccia player will battle for gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, where they seek to solidify their names in the sport’s history. Here are six of them.


David Smith (GBR)

The Brit is the dominant force in the individual BC1. He most recently won the World Championships title on home soil in Liverpool, in 2018. In Tokyo, he seeks to defend the Paralympic crown he claimed at Rio 2016. 

male boccia player David Smith plays a shot
Ⓒ Sporting Wales

Worawut Saengampa (THA)

Will be a strong candidate for gold in both the individual BC2 and mixed team BC1-2 events. He won two consecutive world titles in the individual competition in 2016 and 2018 but sealed silver at Rio 2016, where he did top the podium in the mixed team event.

male boccia player Worawut Saengampa plays a ball
Ⓒ Getty Images

Grigorios Polychronidis (GRE)

Finally secured his first major individual gold after 12 years at the 2018 World Championships. The Greek won the individual BC3 final after beating South Korea’s Howon Jeong, his victor in the 2016 Paralympic Games gold medal-game.

Upper body of man with ramp
Ⓒ Getty Images


Evelyn de Oliveira (BRA)

Had a disappointing performance at the 2018 World Championships, leaving without any medal despite arriving in Liverpool as the reigning Paralympic champion in the mixed pairs BC3. But de Oliveira returned to winning ways at the 2019 Parapan, taking two golds.

female boccia player Evelyn de Oliveira prepares to play a ball
Ⓒ Leandro Martins/CPB/MPIX

Alison Levine (CAN)

Has never topped the podium at a major international competition, but after reaching the world No.1 in the BC4 rankings, Levine is confident to put an end to her gold medal-drought at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Canadian boccia player Alison Levine focused whilst training.
Ⓒ Canadian Paralympic Committee

Michaela Balcova (SVK)

Will be the one to beat in the mixed pairs BC4 after subsequently winning the gold medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and Liverpool 2018 World Championships.