Sunday, May 5 was the final day of the Défi Sportif AlterGo, as well as the day of the pairs and team finals of the Montréal 2024 World Boccia Cup.

Two Canadian squads took part in the finals.

The duo made up of our athletic ambassador Iulian Ciobanu and his teammate Alison Levine, who won all their round robin matches on Saturday, dazzled in the semi-finals before being defeated by Hong Kong on Sunday. They ultimately captured the silver medal in the BC4 pairs event.

Meanwhile, Lance Cryderman, Danick Allard, and Kristyn Collins competed as a team in the BC1 and BC2 event.. The Canadians finished fourth after bowing out to Portugal in the bronze medal match.


Unbeatable until the final

Prior to their defeat in today’s final, Alison Levine and Iulian Ciobanu, gold medallists at the 2023 World Boccia Cup, which was held during last year’s Défi Sportif AlterGo, were on a winning streak.

The pair defeated the Americans 10-3 before ousting the Portuguese 11-0. They then wrapped up a perfect round with a 5-2 victory over Japan.

Early on Sunday, their semi-final game against South Korea was a match-up of two very strong teams. “We knew they would play well, but not that well. They really put up a good fight. In the first two ends, I think we were all at 100% in terms of execution. But we built up a good lead with 4 points in the third end, which gave us a good advantage,” said  Ciobanu.

The game ended 7-1.


A difficult final

The Canadians’ final game against Hong Kong began with two tight ends. However, from the third end onward, the team from Hong Kong gained the upper hand. The game ended 5-0 in their favour.

“We weren’t expecting an easy game, to be honest. We know what they’re capable of. We were ready for them, but it all came down to the details. We had a few misses. Nothing big, but we missed a few key shots. At certain moments, we used too many balls,” he explained.

Although the pair from Montréal were disappointed with the outcome, Ciobanu is nevertheless proud of their performance and optimistic about their upcoming competitions, first in Portugal, and then at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris.

“It would have been a nice accomplishment. We didn’t do badly, but we would have liked to win the gold medal. We were unbeatable until the final. Unfortunately, we didn’t defend our title from last year, but we still performed well, even today.”

Ciobanu remains confident. “There are a few details we need to iron out, but between now and Paris, we’re going to train more often, which is good. We’ll continue to prepare, like we’ve been doing. We’ll head into our next competitions with the same level of confidence, so we can continue to get good results. Anything can happen.”


A positive experience as athletic ambassador

When asked about his experience as an athletic ambassador for the 41st Défi Sportif AlterGo, Iulian Ciobanu takes a positive view.

“It was truly a new experience for me! It was my first time as an athletic ambassador. Being an ambassador had a positive impact, and I’m proud of having performed the way I did today, as an ambassador.”


Stay tuned!

Iulian Ciobanu and Alison Levine will be forces to be reckoned with at the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games, in both the individual and pairs events. The trio made up of Lance Cryderman, Danick Allard, and Kristyn Collins did not qualify for the Games as a team, but the three players still have the chance to qualify as individuals in the coming months.

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