2015 Boccia Asia and Oceania Team and Pairs Championships – REPORT
There was an incredible amount of talent on show this weekend as teams from across Asia and Oceania battled for the honour of becoming regional champions. If the World Championships were to give us an indication of what to expect then Thailand, Korea and Hong Kong were all going to take home the gold medals in the teams, BC3 and BC4 events respectively but unfortunately it didn’t all go to plan for the hosts.
The Thai team were dominant from start to finish in the team event winning all 5 of their games comfortably. The remaining medals in the team event weren’t so straight forward with China, Korea and Japan all winning 3 games each it was left to points differences in the games played against each other to decide the final group positions. Korea benefited from a strong 10-2 performance against Japan but that heavy defeat wasn’t enough to deny Japan a medal of their own who clinched the bronze finishing 1 point better off than the Chinese team who missed out in 4th.
In the BC3 event the favourites Korea won their 3 group matches but came up against a strong Thai team and only narrowly won by 5 points to 4. It would be those two who eventually advanced into the knockout stages from Pool A with China and Macau missing out.
Pool B results again had the technical team checking the rule book to determine the final standings. Singapore, Japan and Australia all won 2 games so the points differences between them was calculated to initially attempt to rank them. With all teams difference equalling zero it was down to points for and points against to try and split the teams. Australia were the team to have conceded the most points so were eventually placed 3rd in Pool B but all eyes were on who was going to have to face a dominant Korean team in the semi-final. The officials had to count the total number of ends won, and in turn placed Japan 1st sending them through to the next round to play Thailand and left Singapore to face Korea.
In the end both Japan and Singapore lost in the semi-finals but Singapore were able to seek some revenge after narrowly missing out on winning their pool, by beating the Japanese pair 4-2 in the bronze medal match. Gold never seemed in doubt for the Korean team who had dispatched Singapore with a 10-0 victory in the semi-final and then displayed a similar show of dominance in the final to beat the Thai team 8-1.
Hong Kong looked impressive in the pool stage of the BC4 competition. The pair won their first 3 games without dropping a point as the hosts looked to win gold on home soil to add to the World title they won back in September. Korea proved too strong for the rest in Pool A and booked their place in the knockout stages despite a 10-0 loss to the Hong Kong Pair.
In Pool B Thailand were proving to be an unstoppable force who won all 3 of their games with the only challenge coming from the Chinese pair. The 5-3 loss to Thailand was Chinas only loss in the pool stages and they knew that they would need an impressive performance to beat the rampant Hong Kong pairing in the semi-final. China got the strong performance they needed and eliminated the pre-event favourites to the 3rd place play off game and booked their place in the final. Korea beat Thailand in the other semi-final but it was the Chinese team who were full of confidence and went on to collect gold.
The event was another display of how far boccia has progressed in recent years as the standard of competition continues to rise. Boccia fans don’t have to wait too long for the next event with teams arriving in Poland today ahead of the 2015 Boccia World Open in Poznan taking place 17th-21st June.
BC1/BC2 Team – Thailand (Gold), Korea (Silver) & Japan (Bronze)
BC3 Pair – Korea, Thailand & Singapore
BC4 Pair – China, Korea & Hong Kong