By Tom Prosser
Paralympic boccia star David Smith is “ecstatic” to add yet another gold medal to his collection at the European Championships in Seville.
Smith, who is based in Swansea, has won everything there is to be won in the sport and has an impressive five Paralympic medals to his name.
The 32-year-old faced his old Russian rival Mikhail Gutnik and fought to a 5-2 victory after dismissing Andre Ramos of Portugal 8-1 in the semi-final.
“I’m ecstatic to retain my title from five years ago – ironically enough, the same final against Mikhail,” said Smith, who is originally from Eastleigh.
“It’s been a really good tournament with a high standard and my competitors have pushed me all the way.”
The tournament is one of the first with separate individual events for men and women.
Previously, all events were mixed or open, but the Paris Paralympic programme has proposed gender-specific events.
However, the team and pairs events, which begin on Monday and give GB more medal chances, will remain mixed.
“I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into the Team event and see if we can get some more bling,” added Smith, whose boccia career is showing no signs of winding down.
I’m a GIF https://t.co/qaKRu6Soqd
— David Smith MBE (@Bocciasmithy) October 28, 2021
“There’s not really a sell-by date in boccia. It’s not like other sports where age can hit you and you have to retire.
“I can pretty much go on for as long as I want. I can certainly see myself doing the next two Paralympics and I quite fancy Australia in 2032.
“For me, it’s now about seeing how long I can keep going for at this level.
“I want to continue to inspire other people and it would be amazing to create a legacy for the sport.
“If that means I extend my winning record even further – then happy days.”