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Greece defeats Portugal in boccia match at 2012 London Paralympics


Big smile from Greek competitor on clinching gold Image: Laura Hale.

Greek and Portuguese pairs prep for their shots Image: Laura Hale.

Players during the fourth end Image: Laura Hale.

LondonEngland— Greece defeated Portugal on Tuesday in the boccia BC3 pairs gold medal match, by four points to one. 2012 is the eighth Paralympics since the introduction of the sport, which is similar to lawn bowls.

The Greek pair Nikolaos Pananos and Grigorios Polychronidis won three sets, and lost one, against Portugal’s Armando Costa and Luis Silva by scores of 2—0, 1—0, 1—0 and 0—1. They enjoyed enthusiastic support from Greek fans repeatedly shouting, “Bravo!” after each took their respective shots. Following the Greek win, supporters broke into rhythmic clapping, continuing their flag-waving and chanting. One of the Greeks competitors rolled his electric wheelchair around, whilst smiling and posing for photos.

Georgian-born Polychronidis holds an accounting degree from the Athens University of Economics and Business. He came into the London Games as a silver medallist from the BC3 individual event at the Beijing Paralympics. Having spinal muscular atrophy, he took up the sport at university where he was introduced to it by George Tzimas.

With London being Pananos’s debut Paralympic Games, he only took up boccia competitively in 2007 and took part in both individual and team events at these Games. Pananos, who has cerebral palsy and is retired, is coached by Andreas Keramidas and plays his club boccia for ASAX Eidiki Olympiada.

Portugal qualified for this match after beating South Korea 4—3 in the semi-finals. The Greeks earned their gold medal round opportunity after beating Belgium who went through pool play undefeated. Portugal won two of their three matches in pool play, losing one, and taking 14 points with only four scored against them. In pool play, Greece won two matches, lost one, and took eight points versus 13 points against them.

Boccia, which is similar to lawn bowls, was first played at the 1984 Summer Paralympics. As a Paralympic sport, it is played by people with cerebral palsy and similar locomotor conditions; players are divided into four different classifications based upon their functional ability.

All text created after September 25, 2005 available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5License, unless otherwise specified.   Originally published on English Wikinews

Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2569 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees. She has a PhD in Communications from the University of Canberra.

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