Having not had a Boccia player in the Paralympic Games since Atlanta 1996, Sweden is hoping that some of its players will not only qualify for London 2012 this weekend but also pick up a medal at this week’s Boccia European Cup.
Taking place in Hamar, Norway between 28-31 October, nearly 60 athletes from 17 countries will battle it out for the European title in what is the last qualifying event for European players ahead of London 2012.
In the BC3 class, Swedes Sebastien Högrell and Christopher Hagdahl, who are ranked 19th and 20th in the world respectively, are on the cusp of qualification.
“They currently hold the final two places for London 2012 but need to improve their rankings at the Europeans in order to be completely safe,” said coach Ingrid Hansson.
World No. 28 in the BC1 class, Mattias Kjallstrom, will be fighting it out for one of the final four London 2012 qualification places in Hamar but must improve his ranking by three places to do so.
“The chances are that we can take three individual seats at the Paralympics. It is our goal,” said Hansson.
“The European Cup is also an opportunity to win a medal and all three players have a chance with the right draw. With luck the players can progress to the semi-finals from the group stages and be in with a fight for the medals.”