PACE athlete win first Gold medal of 2019!
On the weekend of January 26th 2019, PACE athletes, Reshad Saraj and Mitchell Robinson competed in the first of three preliminary rounds of the BE Cup 2019, which took place at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, in Sheffield.
This season qualifying for the finals has been altered slightly. Boccia England has introduced a points-based system, where the higher you finish in the qualifying rounds the more points you earn. You need seven points to qualify for the finals, and instead of going to one competition you have the option as an athlete to enter three, in Sheffield, Crawley and Hatfield.
By earning enough qualification points through the preliminary rounds, athletes can qualify for the prestigious BE Cup Finals, which takes place from the 17th-19th of May 2019 at the English Institute of Sport.
Reshad is the defending BC2 champion, and is aiming to have successive championship wins for the first time in his career. Despite having automatically qualified for the finals, due to the fact he won the competition last year, Reshad has entered in all three qualifying rounds in an effort to maintain his match-sharpness and build momentum for the finals and other events later in the year. Mitchell has entered himself into the Crawley and Sheffield qualifying rounds, and was looking to gain a healthy pool of points to relive the pressure going into Crawley.
Despite the added expectation of being the reigning champion brings, Reshad continued to flex his muscles in the BC2 to category. He remained undefeated for the competition, winning his group against Dan Bentley (5-0) and Alex Elliott (4-0), culminating in an 8-1 win over Jason Ralph in the semi, and a close –fought 3-2 victory against Will Hipwell in the final. This means Reshad has added yet another gold medal in his ever growing collection, and hopes to add even more over the coming season. Congratulations to Reshad!
Mitchell unfortunately just missed out on placing in the top two of his group and advancing to the semi-finals. Mitchell was competing against Oliver Cranshaw (won 13-0), Alfie Yates (lost 6-2) and Harry Thompson (won 3-2) in his group. Despite winning two out of three games, Alfie and Harry registered 16-0 and 17-0 wins respectively, giving them a slightly superior points difference. Following the playoffs, Mitchell managed an overall 5th place finish in the competition, thus gaining some valuable qualification points and putting him in a good position going into Crawley on March 10th.
The next round of the BE Cup competition will take place on the weekend of February 23rd in Hatfield. Please do come along and support us if you’re available.