Boccia star Smith preparing for rising Asian challenge after Rio 2016 Paralympic gold
Via Inside the Games
Britain’s Paralympic champion boccia star David Smith is expecting to face greater competition from Asian rivals as the standard of the sport rises in the build-up to Tokyo 2020.
Smith, a four-time medallist who claimed team gold at Beijing 2008 before individual silver and team bronze on home turf at London 2012, shocked world champion and number one ranked Pattaya Tadtong of Thailand at the quarter-final stage in Rio.
He then defeated Dutch opponent Daniel Perez in the final.
But the 27-year-old realised that greater success brings greater expectations.
“Medals mean funding, that’s quite a lot of pressure,” he said in an interview published on the International Paralympic Committee website.
“The main thing she tells me is to focus on myself, not worry about anything else, try not to let the pressure, and the fact that I’m normally a breadwinner, not let that get to me.
“And now the sport is getting more and more difficult.”
South Korea and Thailand have led huge improvement in the sport from across Asia in recent years.
“They’ve taken it on another level, across all the categories,” Smith added.
“The level is going up, the standard going up.”
After a “well-earned rest” since his Brazilian exploits in September, the Briton is now in training for the 2017 season.
His biggest challenge is expected to be the Boccia International Sports Federation European Championships in Povoa, Portugal.
BISFED provisional schedule for 2017 events
The BISFed Competition Committee would like to announce the provisional calendar of events for 2017. These events are confirmed subject to contracts so some information may change.
- BISFed 2017 European Regional Open, Saint Cugat – 13-20 April 2017
- BISFed 2017 Asian Regional Open, Dubai – 14-21 April 2017
- BISFed 2017 Americas Regional Open, Montreal – 27-30 April 2017
- BISFed 2017 Asian Regional Championships, Hong Kong – 21-29 May 2017
- BISFed 2017 European Regional Championships, Povoa – 17-24 June 2017
- BISFed 2017 European Regional Open, Poznan – 5-10 July 2017
- BISFed 2017 European World Open, Seville – 31 July – 7 August 2017
- BISFed 2017 Americas Regional Championships, Cali – 14-21 August 2017
- BISFed 2017 Americas World Open, Kansas – 22-29 September 2017
- BISFed 2017 Asian World Open, Bangkok – 2-11 October 2017
- BISFed 2017 Americas Regional Open, Mar del Plata – to be confirmed (Nov/Dec 2017)