Nine representatives from Scottish Boccia were selected to represent ParalympicsGB in the Rio Paralympic Games:
- Six athletes – Joshua Rowe, Scott McCowan, Jamie McCowan, Patrick Wilson, Stephen McGuire, Kieran Steer
- Two athlete’s assistants – Gary McCowan, Linda McCowan
- One coach – Claire Morrison
The team flew to Rio a few days before competition started to prepare for the games and adapt to the surroundings, time difference and temperature and were even lucky enough to attend the opening ceremony. This was really positive from a Scottish point of view as five of the nine representatives were making their Paralympic debut and Scotland made up 60% of the GB Boccia squad.
The competition started with the team and pairs events:
BC1/2 team- David Smith, Nigel Murray, Joshua Rowe, Claire Taggart
The team, including Scottish BC2 Joshua Rowe, were in a tough pool alongside the Netherlands and Japan. A final pool game against Japan was always going to be tough and GB lost 10-4 but an earlier comfortable 11-2 victory over the Netherlands was enough to progress to the quarter finals and play the world number 1’s, Thailand. Unfortunately that was the end for GB as Thailand advanced to the semi-final.
BC3 Pairs- Patrick Wilson, Jamie McCowan, Scott McCowan
An all-Scottish BC3 team found it difficult in the pool and didn’t progress to the quarter finals, however they did finish on a positive with a 3-1 win over Singapore. This is a very young team and I’m sure there’s more to come from them in the future.
BC4 Pairs- Stephen McGuire, Evie Edwards, Kieran Steer
A BC4 team including two Scots were hoping to medal in Rio. They got off to the perfect start by beating Slovakia, Hong Kong and Portugal to top their pool. In the semi-final they came up against the host nation Brazil who were also looking to medal. GB put up a good fight but on this occasion Brazil came out on top with a 4-2 victory putting GB into the bronze medal match. Thailand were GB’s opponent in the bronze medal match, G.B took a 2-0 lead after the first two ends however Thailand managed to crawl their way back in to the match and went on to win 3-2. GB ended up with a disappointing but respectable 4th place.
BC2- Joshua Rowe
Joshua was competing in his first Paralympic games and found himself in a pool with strong opposition from Portugal and Thailand. The Scot can hold his head up high as he played to his best in a very competitive competition. There was to be no medal for Joshua this time around but Scotland is proud of what he has achieved so far.
BC3- Patrick Wilson, Scott McCowan, Jamie McCowan
Both McCowan brothers fought hard in each of their pools but unfortunately didn’t progress to the knock out stages. Both players can be proud of getting to this stage as Scott has struggled with illness this season and Jamie was competing in his first Paralympic Games. Patrick reached the quarter finals after having a very good competition in the pools. In the quarter final he was up against the World Number 2, Kim from Korea. Wilson put up a good fight by scoring 3 points however it wasn’t enough in this occasion as Kim came out on top to win 4-3. Even though Patrick didn’t progress to the medal matches he should be delighted with his performances.
BC4- Stephen McGuire and Kieran Steer
After a really difficult year for Kieran everyone was wishing him well willing him to achieve his best. It was always going to be a tough for Kieran as he was in a pool alongside the eventual silver medallist. There was some outstanding boccia played by Kieran and he should take a lot of positives from his first experience at the Paralympics and he should look towards Tokyo 2020. Stephen topped his pool with world class boccia on show. McGuire progressed to the quarter finals where he played the World Number 1 Leung from Hong Kong, after a very close match Stephen lost 4-2 to the eventual Paralympic champion. I hope we see the World Champion Stephen McGuire winning a medal in Tokyo.
It was a really difficult competition for GB Boccia and one that they will reflect on. There was a positive ending as David Smith won gold in the BC1 classification.
Everyone at Scottish Boccia would like to congratulate all those who competed for ParalympicsGB in Rio.
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