For Immediate Release
Boccia Canada – BISFed Montreal World Open
Silver for Alison Levine in the BC4 Group
Montreal, April 27, 2018 – Quebec’s Alison Levine earned the silver medal in the BC4 class on Friday at the BISFed Montreal World Open, which is being held at the Maurice-Richard Arena as part of the Défi sportif AlterGo.
In her final match, Levine was unable to conquer her opponent, Steve McGuire of Britain, who is currently ranked number one in the world. She lost 5-1.
“I would have liked to win, but I’m really pleased with how I played. I made a few placement errors and he got me, but I managed to defend myself for the whole game. He beat me in Montreal but one day I’ll beat him in Liverpool,” declared Levine, referring to the host city of the next Boccia World Championships, which will be held in August.
Levine’s semi-final match was equally tough. Although the first end did not go her way, she managed to outplay Colombia’s Euclides Grisales and dispatch of him 5-2.
“I really wanted to beat him. It was a difficult match. I gave up two points in the first end, which made me panic a bit, but I managed to calm myself down. I told myself I had to get angry. He’s good, but I’m better. That helped me regain control,” explained Levine.
Earlier, in the quarter-final, the Montrealer ousted Hong Kong’s Wai Yan Vivian Lau with a score of 4-1.
“I was really happy to play against Vivian because I had never faced off against her in individuals before. I have a lot of respect for her as a player. But I was in the zone. I took control of the jack and controlled the match right from the start. I didn’t give her any chances to win,” said Levine.
With his fourth place finish, Iulian Ciobanu had the second highest Canadian result in the BC4 individuals tournament. In the bronze medal final, he bowed out to Grisales 8-2.
“I was already pretty tired. I’m satisfied with my result. The only people who beat me were top-five and top-ten players. I finished fourth at a World Open for the first time in my career,” noted Ciobanu, who lost ____ to Britain’s Stephen McGuire in the semi-final.
In the BC4 quarter-final, the Montrealer locked horns with his teammate Marco Dispaltro, beating him 6-3. The outcome was all but decided during the first end: Ciobanu started off very strong and managed to score four points, which left Dispaltro with little chance of closing the gap.
“It was a good first end and it set the tone for the remainder of the match. We’ve played each other often so we have a pretty good idea of what to do and what not to do,” explained Ciobanu.
According to César Nicolai, who coaches both Canadians, Ciobanu made the most of his teammate’s errors to win the match. “Dispaltro missed some opportunities. Iulian took them and won the match. He really played well today. This will move him up in the world rankings. It’s great for his confidence. He’s come a long way. It was the best performance of his career,” he exclaimed.
Ciobanu was well pleased with his fourth place finish.
“I learn something new at each competition. For the first time, I stayed confident until the end. Whether I won or lost, I felt very focused,” he concluded.
Mario Delisle, head coach of the Canadian team, was also very proud of the way the BC4 players competed today. “I’m happy with the performance of my BC4 athletes. We’re really moving forward with them. I’m particularly impressed with the way they handled the pressure. It’s all very positive,” he noted.
Competition will continue Saturday and Sunday at the BISFed World Open in Montreal with the team and doubles events.
About Boccia Canada
Boccia Canada is the boccia delivery arm of the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association (CCPSA), the National Sport Organization for the Paralympic sport of boccia. Boccia Canada is focused on providing athletes and individuals of all ages and skill with the chance to play a unique Paralympic sport. CCPSA collaborates with partners to increase the participation of Canadians with cerebral palsy and related disabilities in sport and physical activity, while leading, developing and growing boccia from grassroots, to producing World and Paralympic Champions.
Boccia is a Paralympic sport of precision and strategy similar to lawn bowling or curling, played by athletes with Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and related disabilities. It is one of only two Paralympic sports that do not have an Olympic counterpart. Athletes compete in one of four sport classes based on their level and type of disability: BC1, BC2, BC3 and BC4. For more information on boccia, visit www.bocciacanada.ca.