30 August 2021

Impressive Smith charges into boccia gold-medal match while McCowan will go for bronze

David Smith

Reigning Paralympic champion David Smith is still on course for a third gold medal of his boccia career after he fought his way through the individual BC1 semi-finals.

Smith beat Brazilian Jose Carlos Chagas de Oliveira 7-4, thanks to three points in the final end, to reach his third Paralympic individual final, having earlier bested Thailand’s Witsanu Huadpradit 6-1 in the quarter-finals.

Wednesday (8.50am BST) will see Smith take on Malaysia’s Chew Wei Lun for the first time in a bid for his third gold medal.

Smith already has all Paralympic colours to his name, claiming Beijing team gold, Rio individual gold, and silver and bronze in London’s individual and team events respectively.

David Smith will go for a third Paralympic boccia gold

He said: “I’m a bit relieved to be honest. It probably hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’ve just realised now, I am actually the most successful British boccia player of all time. That sounds pretty cool.

“The Beijing Games actually transformed boccia in the UK massively so before then, we weren’t very supported, and we didn’t really have a squad as such and we were split. After that, everything changed.

“To be honest, tomorrow I’m just looking forward to the game. I haven’t played the Malaysian guy before, and he looks a really tidy player so I’m looking forward to that.

“It’ll be a good battle and see what we get.”

Scotsman Scott McCowan will also be fighting for a podium place in the BC3 individual bronze medal match on Friday.

McCowan, who beat his brother Jamie during the pool stage of the tournament, is joined on court by his dad and ramp assistant, Gary.

Scott McCowan and his dad Gary combine in the boccia arena

The McCowan clan thrashed Brazilian Evelyn de Oliveira 9-1 in the quarter-finals on Tuesday morning, before dramatically losing to Greece’s Grigorios Polychronidis in a nail-biting tie-break after their semi-final ended locked at 4-4 – ending his bid for gold.

Scott said: “I’m devastated. I gave it everything out there. That’s the best in a tournament I’ve ever played but ultimately, it just wasn’t enough.

“Also, the tie-break was really close, and it didn’t go my way. I think it could have been a different story but that’s how the game goes.

“I’ve just got to bounce back - there’s nothing else for it. I know I can easily win a medal so I’m determined to come back fighting tomorrow and I hope, if I can put in the same performance again, I should be able to get that medal.”

McCowan will be facing Daniel Michel of Australian for a place on the podium tomorrow.

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