Boccia ready to continue gold medal run
What archers do for Korea at the Olympics, boccia players plan to do at the Paralympics, as Korea's veteran boccia players look for the country's 10th gold medal in the sport starting Saturday.
Korea is a boccia powerhouse, and has won gold at the last eight Paralympics, starting with the 1988 Seoul Games.
One of two sports that are unique to the Paralympics, boccia is similar to the winter Olympic sport of curling in that players throw six balls at a white target ball called the jack, and the team, pair or individual that finishes the ball closest to the jack scores at each end.
All Boccia events are mixed and there are not separate men’s and women’s events or medals. Boccia players compete in wheelchairs due to loss of leg function and trunk stability and there are a total of seven events depending on physical impairment and number of players. BC 1 class players have the most severe impairments, as they have severe activity limitations affecting their legs, arms and trunk due to co-ordination impairments and are dependent on a powered wheelchair. Four Korean athletes will compete in the BC 1 class.
Athletes in the BC 3 class with impairments to all four limbs are allowed to use a ramp to roll the ball with the help of an assistant. Four assistants will appear alongside the three Koreans competing in the BC 3 class.
On Saturday, Jung Sung-joon will start off the hunt for a medal at 10:40 a.m. in the BC 1 Individual event. Then Kim Han-soo, Jeong Ho-won and Lee Yong-jin will face their respective opponents in the BC 3 Individual matches.
Kim will play with his mother Yoon Chu-ja as his boccia assistant. Yoon has created numeric codes to communicate with Kim during competitions on a keypad due to his speech impairment.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]