Canada wins 10 medals at Santiago World Boccia Challenger

Canadian Paralympic Committee

July 04, 2023

Women’s sitting volleyball team second at tournament in the Netherlands


Alison Levine of Montreal and Danik Allard of Bois-des-Filion, Que., highlighted a 10-medal performance for Canada at the Santiago World Boccia Challenger this past week with gold.

Levine, a two-time Paralympian, used a combination of power and precision placement shots in the women’s BC4 gold medal match against Karla Manuel Enriquez of Mexico. The exciting game ended in a tiebreak, with Levine prevailing in the extra end for a 3-2 win.

Head coach César Nicolai was also thoroughly impressed with Levine’s performance.

“After finishing second in her pool, Alison never looked back,’’ he said. ‘’She raised her game to beat Colombian Leidy Chica Chica, the world’s number one player, and then won the gold medal match against Karla, who showed an excellent level of play.”

Allard defeated Dubier Paredes Moroyoqui of Mexico 4-1 in the men’s BC2 final.

”Danik’s performance reflects all the time and dedication he puts in every day to improve his game strategies,” said Nicolai.  ”What he found difficult at the last event in Montreal to make the podium, here in Santiago, he was unstoppable. He knew how to lead each of his matches by dominating his opponents’ weaknesses from beginning to end. It was a very high-level performance and I’m proud of him.”

In the men’s BC4, Marco Dispaltro of St-Jerome, Que. and Iulian Ciobanu of Montreal were the silver and bronze medallists.

Other bronze medallists in individual play were Kristyn Collins (St. John’s, NL) in the women’s BC2, Marylou Martineau of Quebec City in the women’s BC3 and Lance Cryderman (Val Caron, ON) in the men’s BC1.

Martineau is the first international individual BC3 female medallist for Canada.

Canada added three podium appearances in the team and pairs competition.

The medallists were: Allard, Collins and Cryderman in the BC 1-2 team event; Levine and Ciobanu with silver in the BC4 mixed pairs event; and Martineau and Ryan Rondeau (Edmonton) in their duo debut with bronze in BC3 pairs.

Levine and Ciobanu have reached the podium at three straight international events.

Nicolai was very pleased with the team’s overall performance.

“We came here to perform, progress, and familiarize ourselves with the competition site for the Santiago Parapan American Games,’’ he said. ‘’I’m extremely proud of this team, the athletes, the performance partners, and staff. They all did an exceptional job here.”

The tournament was a test event at the venue for the 2023 Parapan American Games in November. Those Games are a qualification event for the 2024 Paralympic Games.   

Canada goes the five-set limit against USA at Dutch Tournament

Canada’s women’s sitting volleyball team lost a thrilling five-set match to Paralympic champions USA and won the silver medal at the Dutch Tournament in Assen, Netherlands this past weekend.

The U.S. won its six matches followed by Canada (5-1) and Ukraine in third at 4-2, then it was Italy, Great Britain, Netherlands, and France.

The Canadians opened the round robin tournament with five straight wins before falling to the Americans 25-14, 20-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-9.

“We had a great weekend,” said Canada’s head coach Nicole Ban. “We’ve been able to play six matches and get court experience for everyone. We played USA for gold but ended up falling short in the fifth. I’m proud of the group and the way we battled. We’re getting closer and closer, improving every time we play them. This will help build confidence for our Paralympic qualifier in Cairo in November.”

The Canadian women are now preparing for a Paralympic Games qualifier November 11-18 in Cairo.

With files from Boccia Canada and Volleyball Canada

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