(Toronto, ON – August 11) After a clean sweep by the Brazilian boccia players, three Canadians athletes leave the Abilities Centre with silver medals around their necks.
In the BC1 classification, Hanif Mawji (Vancouver, BC) snuck through to the gold medal round with a close semi-final win over Eduardo Ventura of Mexico. Of the match, he states “it was tied 2-2 going into the fourth end. He threw the jack on his side but wasn’t able to close the gap with his second ball. I pitched one, and then another, and on that second ball, I nailed the jack. He tried to dislodge my ball to no avail, throwing all of his five remaining balls. I knew then that I had the game, and I threw away the rest of my balls to take the win.” Unfortunately, Jose Carlos Chagas of Brazil held his own, taking the final with a score of 8-0.
Adam Dukovich (Ottawa, ON), who took home gold in BC2 individual play at the 2011 Guadalajara Parapan American Games, ended the final round with a 0-7 score against 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Maciel de Souza Santos of Brazil. Reflecting on the game Dukovich said “What a match! The score isn’t reflective of my game but rather the strength of my opponent’s play.”
Eric Bussière (Montreal, QC) was one of the three members of the Canadian boccia squad who snagged the coveted gold in BC3 pair play earlier in the competition. He followed up with a silver medal in individual play, his first at an international multi-sport event. “I am very proud – time to take a vacation then focus on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.”
Member of CIBC Team Next Alison Levine (Montréal, QC) couldn’t manage to keep up with the consistency and accuracy of Marcelo Dos Santos of Brazil in the bronze medal game. She leaves the Parapan American Games with a strong fourth place finish.
Proud head coach Mario Delisle says, “We certainly have some work to do for the Paralympics next year but I’m happy with the results, they show that we are on the right track. Our athletes continue to grow and the experience here in Toronto will be very useful for the next steps.”