Australian boccia athlete Daniel Michel has missed out on a place in the finals at the Boccia World Open in Columbia, after suffering a loss in his round 16 game to Spain’s Wafid Boucherit.
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 the 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 boccia 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 Individual World Cup in Beijing this March, which is the last and most valuable qualifying tournament for this Paralympic cycle.”
Currently number 25 in the world, the 19-year-old has been hailed as Australia’s best chance to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, and if he succeeds, will be the first since Sydney 2000.
By APC Media