28 August 2021

Mixed day for Smith but McCowan and McGuire shine as boccia ramps up

Four-time Paralympic boccia medallist David Smith suffered a mixed day in the individual BC1 event with one victory and one defeat at Ariake Gymnastics Centre.

Smith began his Sunday with a narrow 4-3 win against Argentina’s Mauricio Ibarbure before going down 7-5 to Eduardo Sanchez Reyes of Mexico – meaning he now has two wins from three in Pool A.

The 32-year-old, who claimed gold in the event in Rio 2016, won two points apiece in the first and final end against Ibarbure to edge home, while a five-point first end in the contest with Sanchez Reyes appeared to set the Brit on course for a convincing triumph, only for the Mexican to fight back and seal an impressive win.

David Smith has two wins from three in the pool stage

After beating Ibarbure, Smith said: “He’s a good player, and he’s showed it there, I’ve had to dig in a bit and get a bit of luck as well, and sometimes it’s all about the run of the ball on this floor.

“A game can be won or lost by small little details, so I’ll take all the luck I can get to be honest.

“I’m playing quite well, but everyone else is playing quite well to so we’ll see what happens.”

In the BC3 event, Scott McCowan followed up Saturday’s victory over younger brother Jamie with another triumph on Sunday – a 6-1 win against Argentina’s Stefania Ferrando.

McCowan and Ferrando were tied at 1-1 after the second end but the Brit pulled away in the third and fourth to take control of Pool E.

Scott McCowan has a 100% record at Tokyo 2020 so far

He said: “It’s a good start so far – obviously I conceded a point in the second end but I kept the score down and ended up getting points down the other end, so it’s been a good start. I’ve just got to keep it going now.”

McCowan next faces Spencer Cotie in a battle top Pool E and will look to get revenge for his brother after the Australian beat Jamie McCowan 5-2 on Sunday.

In the BC4 class, Louis Saunders suffered a second straight Pool F defeat as Thailand’s Pornchok Larpyen beat him 7-1 but Stephen McGuire notched a tense 3-2 win over Shun Esaki of Japan in Pool C.

McGuire lost his opening contest on Saturday but bounced back to lead 3-0 after two ends and then hold on as Esaki scored one point in each of the final two ends.

Stephen McGuire kept his qualification hopes alive with a vital victory

“It was very tough after losing the first match, so the pressure was on me to get back to winning ways and I was playing the home favourite, shall we say,” said McGuire.

“It was a very difficult match, very close and hopefully I win my next match. A win should be enough to take me through.”

But there was a second defeat in as many days for both of ParalympicsGB’s boccia stars in the BC2 class as Will Hipwell lost 6-3 to Slovakia’s Robert Mezik and Claire Taggart conceded two in the final end to narrowly fall 3-2 to Korean Lee Yongjin.

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