11 August 2018

McGuire stars on opening day of Boccia World Championships

Stephen McGuire got his BC4 title defence off to an ideal start in what was a busy first day for Great Britain on the first day of the Boccia World Championships in Liverpool.

The Scot twice won comfortably in Pool A, beating American Kevin Stokes 12-1 before later dispatching Spain’s Vasile Agache 12-0.

And speaking after his first match, McGuire – who claimed gold at the 2016 worlds in Beijing – expressed his pleasure at getting off to a positive start.  

“It was good, I started really well,” he said.

“I accumulated the score, maximised very well and then it got a little bit sticky in the third end and going into the fourth end when I made a couple of mistakes.

“I lost a little bit of focus, but I managed to regain it quickly enough, so I’m very happy.”

Elsewhere in the BC4 category Evie Edwards had a mixed day in Pool E, starting with an impressive 6-4 win over Russian Sergey Safin, but she was later defeated 6-2 by experienced South Korean Hyeon Seok Seo.

Reflecting on her opening win, Edwards noted the significant advantage to playing in a championship on home soil.  

“The home crowd here is amazing,” she said.

“It was awesome. First end I didn’t miss a shot and I went 4-0 up, which was great.”

“I then just saw the match out winning 6-4. It was against the European silver medallist, so I’m really happy with that.”


"The home crowd here is amazing"

Evie Edwards

Louis Saunders also played twice in the same class, losing 8-1 to four-time Paralympic champion Dirceu Pinto of Brazil and 5-3 to Colombian Euclides Grisales.

Three-time Paralympic gold-medallist David Smith got his quest to reclaim the BC1 World Championship title underway with a comfortable win in Pool A.

And the 29-year-old, who won bronze in Beijing, was untroubled in his first match as he defeated South Korea’s Sungjoon Jung 9-0.

Elsewhere in the BC1 class Ricky Stevenson lost 5-1 to Kai Sun of China.

In BC3 competition, Jamie McCowan carries a perfect record into the second day of competition after two wins in Pool B.

The Scot beat Sweden’s Maria Bjurstrom 7-3 in the morning’s play before defeating Belgian Pieter Cilissen 4-3 in a tight contest.

Patrick Wilson won his first fixture in the BC3 class, beating Ling Yan Tsang of Hong Kong 5-1, but lost a tie-break against Japan’s Kazuki Takahashi, eventually going down 4-3.

Northern Ireland number one Claire Taggart was beaten 5-3 by South Korean Jeongmin Sohn in BC2 competition.

The action continues tomorrow, with Smith first up on court for his second pool match against Sungjoon Jung.

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