Great Britain won seven medals, including four golds, at the Boccia European Continental Cup ©BISFed
Great Britain were the dominant force at the Boccia European Continental Cup, winning seven medals, including four golds, in the Spanish town of Sant Cugat del Valles.

The British contingent started as they meant to go on at the first Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed) competition of the year by claiming the gold medal in the BC1/BC2 team event with an impressive 10-1 win against the host nation. 

Despite finishing second to Slovakia after a tie-breaker in the BC4 pairs final, and losing out to Portugal in the BC3 pairs bronze medal match, British players secured three out of the four gold medals on offer in the individual events.

World number seven Nigel Murray defeated compatriot Joshua Rowe 4-1 in the BC2 final, before 20-year-old Jacob Thomas defied his youth to go undefeated en route to BC3 final, where he beat Portugal’s Armando Costa to top the podium.

Great Britain’s gold run continued in the BC4 class as world number 19 Keiran Steer beat Slovakia’s Robert Durkovic, who is ranked five places above him, 5-2.

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Athletes from 23 European countries took part at the Boccia European Continental Cup ©BISFed
It was not all plain sailing for Britain though as world number one David Smith could only manage a bronze medal in the BC1 category.

Smith suffered a 4-1 semi-final loss to Greece’s Panagiotis Soulanis, who claimed the gold medal with a 6-2 victory over Portugal’s Antonio Marques, before beating Russia’s Mikhail Gutnik 7-1 in the bronze medal match.

There was also success for Greece in the BC3 pairs, courtesy of a 5-1 win against the Czech Republic, while Portugal defeated Britain 6-2 for bronze.

Portugal claimed three other bronze medals, completing the podium in the BC4 pairs with a win over Russia, as well as in the individual BC4 class, thanks to Domingos Viera’s 4-0 thumping of Hungary’s Laszlo Hegedus, and the individual BC2 category, courtesy of Cristina Goncalves’ 4-2 win over compatriot Albilio Valente.

Belgium’s Pieter Cilissen secured the bronze medal in the individual BC3 class after edging out Greece’s London 2012 silver medallist and world number two Grigorios Polychronidis, 3-2, while The Netherlands beat Russia 11-5 to take third place in the BC1/BC2 team event. 

Athletes from 23 European countries took part in the four-day event.

The next competition on the BISFed calendar is the Americas Team and Pairs Championships, scheduled to take place from April 29 to May 4.