Thailand produce stunning boccia upset

Beijing gold medalists Great Britain crash out of competition at semi-final stage. 03 Sep 2012
Boccia at the London 2012 games

Boccia at the ExCeL in the London 2012 games


“The Paralympic spirit is never to give up and we didn't.”

The second day of boccia set up some intriguing final matches, as two of the reigning gold medalists failed to win their semi finals.

The biggest upset of the day was that hosts Great Britain, who were gold medal winners at Beijing 2008, were thrashed by Thailand, as the match finished 11-1 in the mixed team BC1-2 class.

China beat Portugal 6-4 to create an exciting match-up against Thailand for the gold medal.

Jainan Tian, coach of China, was proud of how his side overcame a tough challenge in the shape of Portugal.

“We are satisfied with our performance,” he said. “The Paralympic spirit is never to give up and we didn't.”

In the mixed pairs BC3 competition, Beijing 2008 gold medal winners, the Republic of Korea, were beaten in their semi-final match by Portugal, who edged the contest 4-3.

Meeting them in the final for the gold will be Greece, after they powered through against Belgium 7-0.

Current Paralympic champions of the mixed pairs BC4 class, Brazil, beat Great Britain 3-2 to set up an interesting encounter for the gold against the Czech Republic, after they overcame China in their semi final match.

Brazilian star Dirceu Pinto believed that his side were on the top of their game and were fully focused on making the final.

“In my opinion, I think the difference was the level of concentration,” Pinto said.

“On the second set, the opponents had many opportunities to score and they did not take advantage of that."

His teammate Eliseu dos Santos is expecting a tough fight for the gold.

“We have played Czech Republic before and we know that it's a strong team,” he said.

“Thank God we are in the final and we are sure that it's going to be a gold medal.”