CRYMYCH’S Jacob Thomas believes a forthcoming outing at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park can provide the perfect preparation for next month’s Boccia World Championships.
The 19-year-old is bidding to complete a 12 months to remember having won gold at the Paralympic School Games in Sao Paulo last November and starred domestically closer to home.
Victory at the Welsh Championships has followed along with British Championships silver behind teammate Scott McCowan – all of which leaves him eighth in the BC3 individual world rankings.
Thomas, who attended Ysgol y Preseli, will make his next major outing at London’s Olympic Park as Britain’s BC3 pairs team play world No.1s Greece as part of National Paralympic Day on August 30.
He was part of the team that secured victory over Greece at last year’s inaugural event, and with next month’s World Championships in Beijing fast approaching, Thomas is after a repeat.
“Things are really busy at the moment with the build up to the World Championships in Beijing, but the Paralympic Day is an event I am really looking forward to,” said Thomas.
“Last year’s event was great to mark one year on from the Paralympic Games. The crowds were great and gave it such a good atmosphere.
“Playing Greece is always exciting and we always end up having a close match, last year being no exception. I am expecting Greece to give us a tough rematch and we are going to have to be at our best to beat them again.
“Back in November I travelled to Sao Paulo where I won gold. After an intense winter of training came the Welsh Championships where I won gold again and then the British Championships where I won silver.
“The World Championships are a major event in the boccia calendar. It’s a great honour to be representing Great Britain. We as a squad have prepared well over the last year and hope to perform well out there.”
For Thomas, playing at the World Championships will mark ten years since he first started the sport after being introduced to it at primary school by his learning support assistant.
And after reaching the last 16 of the individual BC3 competition, as well as taking part in the BC3 pairs at the London 2012 Paralympics, Thomas is determined to medal at Rio 2016.
“I love a wide range of sports – football, rugby, cricket, tennis but being able to play boccia means I can exercise my competitive spirit,” he added.
“That is the best thing about boccia – the competitiveness and tactics involved. My long-term aims are to continue being part of the GB boccia squad.
“I hope to break into the world top six and to continue to train hard and be selected and medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.”
National Paralympic Day will be celebrated on Saturday August 30 with a day of Paralympic sport and disability arts in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. To buy tickets for the Paralympic sport, log on to www.axs.com/national-paralympic-day. #NPD2014 is supported by Spirit of 2012.