Local para-athletes golden at Montreal World Boccia Cup

Montreal’s Iulian Ciobanu and Cote St. Luc’s Alison Levine earned gold in the doubles and gold and bronze respectively in their singles event.

There’s nothing better than medaling at an important tournament unless it is having success at home in front of family, friends and fans. That’s exactly what Cote St. Luc’s Alison Levine and Montreal’s Iulian Ciobanu experienced at the Montreal World Boccia Cup. The event featured 28 countries, and 144 athletes competing at the Maurice Richard Arena in the Paralympic sport of boccia.

The two para-athletes earned medals in their individual events, Levine bronze and Ciobanu gold, then dominated in the mixed doubles event to take the gold position at the Maurice Richard Arena. “Being in Montréal gave them a lot of energy,” head coach César Nicolai said. “It was cool to have the support of all these people who came to the event. After four years without an international competition in Montréal, it’s been special to feel everyone’s support behind us.”

In his singles matches Ciobanu went into the finals undefeated in individual play, then cruised to an 8 to 1 win for gold against Brazil’s Eliseu Dos Santos. Levine automatically moved on to the quarterfinals after beating Ercileide Da Silva 5-3 of Brazil in her first game of pool play in her singles tournament. She then beat Chrysi Morfi Metzou from Greece to play in the semifinals. In her final game for the bronze medal Levine stole the podium as she won 9-0, which ended the match in third end against her Croatian opponent Anamaria Arambasic.

Levine and Ciobanu were on top of their respective games as thetandem went undefeated to take the gold.The pair defeated the United States 13 to 1 and then won in overtime against Croatia in their pool. By going undefeated in pool play the duo earned a bye into the semis where they fought of a tough challenge by their Great Britain counterparts. The Montreal side took the match 3-2 with two balls not being needed to be put into play.

Canada faced Croatia in the finals, where they used a combination of strategies, placements, lobs, pushes, and power shots to win the gold. The turning point was the third end. After starting the end down 2-1, Canada took a 4-2 lead when Ciobanu delivered a slice and push to score three points. With Canada’s shots hugging the jack in the fourth, Croatia couldn’t recoup, especially after Levine’s threw a power shot that landed right on the jack, knocking Croatia’s ball out of the way. The Canadians kept the pressure on in the final end, forcing the Croatians to give up another two points to win gold 6-2. “I’m so proud of us both,” Alison Leviine said. “We won all our games in pairs and at a world cup. That’s huge. To be able to even make it to this competition and be able to train means so much to me. There were some nerves after the first end, but if there’s one thing about us is we do not give up, we did not give up, and we always continue to fight. And that’s what we did here today. I’m very proud of Iulian too, it was a team effort.”

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.