World Boccia Championships: Team GB to contest semi-final

Newly crowned BC2 World Champion Claire Taggart from Larne will be eyeing another medal alongside her teammates David Smith OBE, who won silver in the BC1 category and Will Hipwell, when they compete in the the semi-finals of the World Boccia Championships today (Tuesday).

Boccia UK Performance Director Greg Baker said: “The team have put in some consistently solid performances over the last couple of days and find themselves at the business end of a world championships.

“They are collaborating and working effectively as a team, with all members playing crucial shots at the right time."

Their journey to the semi-finals saw them seize an 11-0 win over Canada before a 7-2 victory over the Netherlands put them at the top of pool D.

Claire Taggart pictured during the quarter final.

They now face Argentina, who are third in the world rankings.

Taggart explained: "We last played Argentina in Tokyo and it was a really good game. We won but it was tight.

"It's important not to get complacent now and focus on the game in hand. We're playing well and we hope to continue that.”

On Saturday, the east Antrim star became World Champion in Rio de Janeiro after a 7-1 victory over Rebecca Duarte of El Salvador in the BC2 women’s final.

Following news of her individual success, plaudits have flooded in from well wishers on social media.

Congratulating Claire, a spokesperson for Larne FC said: “Congratulations to our Disability Access Officer Claire Taggart who has won the World Boccia Championship in Rio.”

Posting on Facebook, a spokesperson for Disability Sport NI stated: “It’s coming home. Claire Taggart has won the Rio de Janeiro 2022 World Boccia Championships BC2 gold medal. A world champion! Congratulations Claire! What a journey!”

A spokesperson for Mid and East Anrim Borough Council said: “Massive congratulations to Larne's Claire Taggart on winning gold at the World Boccia Championships in Rio!

“Brilliant results throughout and fully deserving of the accolade.”

This summer, Taggart cemented her position as one of the world’s strongest boccia players, winning her first-ever World Cup.

Claire was part of a nine-strong Boccia team representing the UK at the postponed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.

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Boccia: Claire Taggart wins world title

The east Antrim woman became the first Boccia athlete from Northern Ireland to win a British Championship, securing the title in the BC2 classification in 2018.