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Paralympics: David Smith prepared for ‘toughest tournament’ in Paris

Paralympic boccia champion David Smith at Tokyo 2020


Smith’s success in boccia began with Paralympic gold in the BC1/BC2 mixed team event at Beijing 2008.

He then won five medals in the next four Games – along with a hatful of world and European titles – that have elevated him to Britain’s most decorated boccia player of all time.

But it is success with his team that really drives him now.

“We’ve got a really good team building,” he continues.

“That probably is the thing that keeps me in it more than anything else actually.

“Obviously, I’m Paralympic champion, Claire [Taggart] is world champion and Kayleigh [Haggo] is a brand new athlete who’s only been playing the sport since 2022.

“But her high-performance behaviours from athletics have rubbed off and she’s come into boccia like a duck to water.

“The three of us have a really good relationship together and it’s enjoyable to play on court. We’re currently in the best form I’ve ever known our team to be in and I’ve been playing in the team for a very, very long time.

“So it’s exciting we could potentially be back in the position where I remember the team being back in 2008. I want to get back to there.

“Once I do that, then maybe that might be the time I call it a day.”



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