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David Smith Admits Outdoor Boccia Gives Him The Shivers As He Loses European Para Final


By Hannah Blackwell

David Smith admits he will need to get used to outdoor boccia if the sport continues to move in that direction.

The Swansea-based triple Paralympic champion had to settle for a silver medal at the European Para Championships in the Netherlands at the weekend.

Smith was beaten 5-2 in the final of the men’s Boccia BC1 final at Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam by Dutchman Daniel Perez.

The event took place in an outdoor arena and Smith admitted the first time a major boccia tournament had taken place outside had thrown up a few problems.

“The problem with the outdoors is there’s a lot of wind around,” said Smith.

“I felt the breeze when I was throwing the first ball and it was not helpful.

“If it continues to be outdoors I will have to adjust to it, but I don’t think it will. Boccia is an indoor game.”

Smith believes he can recover from the loss quickly and remains confident he can successfully defend his Paralympic title in Paris next year.

“It is good for the Dutch crowd that Dan could win. He has been trying to beat me for ages so it’s good for him to finally get one.

“But I’m not too worried. As we had the team yesterday all my energy was focussed on the team so it was a bit weird to then go back to the individual.

“Your mindset is just different for it. Usually, boccia goes individual, then team. The Dutch have done it slightly differently.

“In Paris (Paralympics 2024), it will be fine. That was just a freak game really. Dan played well, but I just need to play my normal game.

“The tournament has been really good. In the Ahoy arena, the atmosphere that was built up was really cool with the noise and all that. We have had a special couple of days.

“Hopefully, it will help promote Boccia. We are rightly in the Paralympic movement and we are one of the more competitive events so we get a good atmosphere.”

David Smith Admits Frustration After Losing World Boccia Crown


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