Sport Week: Five boccia storylines

Here are the top storylines in the sport heading into the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. 03 Apr 2016
Maciel Sousa Santos - Boccia

Maciel Sousa Santos of Brazil celebrates winning Gold in the Individual BC2 Boccia.


Editor’s note: Each sport on the Rio 2016 Paralympic programme will have a dedicated week of featured content published on Every week a new sport will be featured and the series will run until September’s Games, helping the public understand more about the 22 sports being contested in Rio.


1. Stiff competition in the BC4 individual

The BC4 individual event will be one of the most hotly contested. Hong Kong’s Yuk Wing Leung was the favourite to the 2016 BISFed Individual World Championship title in March. But he settled for the bronze. Canada’s Marco Dispaltro and Brazil’s Eliseu dos Santos, both expected to be podium contenders at Rio 2016, failed to medal at the World Championships. In fact, Great Britain’s Stephen McGuire pulled out the surprise gold medal and gave his country another name to consider sending to the Paralympics in September.


2. Brazil will have plenty to cheer for

Hosts Brazil have potential podium finishers in the BC2 and BC4 individual events, as well as the team, and BC3 and BC4 pairs competitions. Maciel Santos is a favourite for gold in the BC2 individual. Eliseu Dos Santos and Dirceu Pinto will look to occupy the BC4 individual podiums, and also repeat their London 2012 gold-medal feat in the pair event.


3. Thai dominance

The 2016 Individual World Championships in Beijing, China, featured an all-Thai battle for gold in the BC1 category. Witsanu Huadpradit faced compatriot and defending Paralympic champion Pattaya Tadtong in the finals. Tadtong took the victory, reinforcing why he is the favourite for gold at Rio 2016. A repeat can be expected at Rio. Thailand also made a case for themselves in the BC2 class, with Worawut Saengampa coming off the individual world title. Thailand has also qualified a slot in the team competition, where they are currently ranked No. 1.


4. Regional rivals

While Brazil looks to defend their Paralympic title in the BC4 pairs event, regional rival Canada will look to make up for the bronze they got from London 2012. Dispaltro however will be without his London teammate Josh Vandervies, who retired in 2015. Youngster Alison Levine is expected to join Dispaltro and help Canada move up the podium in Rio. After Brazil spoiled Canada’s hopes for gold on home soil in August’s Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, Canada might hope to do the same in September.


5. Who are the favoruites in the team event?

Like they did in London 2012, Thailand and Great Britain are expected to battle for podiums spots at Rio 2016. Both have already qualified in the team BC1/BC2 event. But Argentina, who did not make it out of the preliminary rounds at London 2012, could make an interesting challenge. The nation earned an early qualification slot to Rio after taking gold at the 2015 Boccia Americas Team and Pairs Championships, and followed up with silver at Toronto 2015.




Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).


The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.


Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.