Double Paralympic champion Smith edges closer to European success
David Smith is no stranger to success on the continental stage but another medal could be on the cards as he progressed to the quarter-finals at the European Boccia Championships.
The double Paralympic champion – a two-time European gold medallist – defeated Portugal’s João Pinto 5-1 in his final BC1 pool game to top the standings.
Two more wins will see Smith seal a guaranteed medal, but first he will have to overcome Spain’s Ferran Valdivia en route to the semi-final in Povoa de Varzim.
Great Britain will have a trio of representatives at the last 16 stage of the BC3 competition after the McCowan brothers – Jamie and Scott – and Patrick Wilson all topped their respective pools, just days after winning BC3 Pairs silver.
Wilson finished his pool matches in style with a 10-1 success over Spain’s Francisco Javier Martinez-Aceytuno, while Scott McCowan defeated Maxim Vasilyev of Russia 6-3.
Younger brother Jamie also recorded an emphatic victory, triumphing 7-1 over Belgium’s Julie Lamberechts to progress to the next round.
In the BC4 competition, Stephen McGuire progressed to the last 16 while it was a day of mixed results for Evie Edwards.
McGuire lost his final pool match 4-2 to Sergey Safin of Russia but his victory over Melisa Osmanovic earlier in the tournament was enough to see him through to the elimination rounds.
Edwards could not follow him however, despite triumphing in a narrow fixture against Artem Kolinko – prevailing 5-4.
But it wasn’t to be for the 22-year-old in her final pool match, Michaela Balcova of Slovakia proving too strong to win 4-1.
Louis Saunders could also not make it into the elimination rounds, losing his final two pool matches to Slovakian and Portuguese opponents.
In the BC2 competition, 2015 European champion Claire Taggart progressed to the last 16 despite defeat to the Netherlands’ Bernd Meints.
Taggart, who won BC1/BC2 Team and Pairs gold in Surrey two years ago, will play Poland’s Mateusz Urbanski for a place in the next round.
Will Hipwell missed out on victory in his final pool match, Nelson Fernandes of Portugal prevailing 7-2.