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ParalympicsGB Announces Boccia Squad for Paris 2024



Three-time Paralympic champion David Smith and reigning world champion Claire Taggart head up a five-strong squad of boccia players who will line up for ParalympicsGB at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

 

Smith (pictured above) – who became Britain’s most decorated boccia player after successfully defending his Paralympic title at the rescheduled Tokyo Games three years ago - will head to the French capital looking to add to his current tally of five Paralympic medals from four Games.

 

Northern Irish athlete Taggart heads to Paris as the world number one in her class. The 29-year-old, who claimed her first global title in 2022, will compete in the new individual female category introduced for these Games - mixed events had been on the schedule when she competed at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

 

Former frame runner and swimmer Kayleigh Haggo will meanwhile make her Paralympic debut after an impressive season which saw her win her first major international medal in Zagreb in April.

 

The Scot, who has won several world titles in frame running before switching to boccia in 2022, will also compete alongside Taggart and Smith in the BC1/2 Team event, the trio fresh from winning silver at the Sao Paulo World Cup.

 

“I’m really excited for my fifth Paralympic Games and it will be great to play in front of a crowd again, after the Tokyo Games was limited by Covid.,” said Smith.

 

“While I do love playing individually, the team event has always been a strong passion of mine. The team medal was my first at a Paralympics, so it’s kind of where I learned my craft. Our team then went into a bit of a transition, so it’s always been my ambition to return us to where we were.”

 

Will Arnott and teenager Sally Kidson complete a stellar squad and will line up in the BC3 Pairs event having won gold at the qualifying event in Japan earlier this year.

 

Full Boccia squad: David Smith - BC1 (Athlete Competition Partner:  Misel Kranjcec); Claire Taggart - BC2; Kayleigh Haggo - BC2; Will Arnott - BC3 (Athlete Competition Partner: Connor Wellfare); Sally Kidson - BC3 (Athlete Competition Partner: Hannah Stewart).

 

A total of around 230 athletes from 19 sports are expected to make up the British team that will compete in Paris from August 28 – September 8, with further names to be announced by ParalympicsGB in the next few weeks.

 

For further information visit https://www.paralympics.org.uk/

 

Photo: Getty Images/Alex Davidson

 

 

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