Australian boccia athlete Daniel Michel has missed out on a place in the finals at the 2015 BISFed Boccia World Open in Santiago de Cali, Colombia, after suffering a loss in his round 16 game to Spain’s Wafid Boucherit.
Coming up against the world No. 21, Michel warmed up well to win the first end by one point, but ultimately fell, 1-5.
Michel used his 1.7m short jack in the first end, but Boucherit came in with ease to remove the first ball. The Spaniard demonstrated his ability to place blocking balls effectively to protect the ball that he would later drive in to hold the jack.
While Michel only lost the second end by one point to begin the second half of the game, 1-1, he was unable to make up the difference. In the third end, Michel changed tactics and played the jack to 3.5m and wide on his side. It was then that Boucherit produced the best shot of the game, by flopping one ball over Michel’s defence, landing it on the jack.
While the tournament is now over for Michel, Australian head coach Peter King said he has still secured all-important world ranking points that should contribute to him qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
“Dan has secured some good world ranking points to stay within range of his main rivals to win the remaining qualification slots for Rio 2016, which was the main aim coming into the competition,” he said.
“His next tournament will be the 2016 BISFed Boccia World Individual Championships in Beijing this March, which is the last and most valuable qualifying tournament for this Paralympic cycle.”
Currently ranked world No. 25, the 19-year-old has been hailed as Australia’s best chance in boccia to qualify for Rio 2016, and if he succeeds, will be the first since the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
By APC Media