GB boccia team secure Rio Paralympic place

Nigel Murray
Nigel Murray has competed at four Paralympics, winning two golds, a silver and a bronze

The Great Britain boccia BC1/2 team have secured direct qualification for the Rio Paralympics after winning the European Teams and Pairs Championships in Surrey.

The team of David Smith, Nigel Murray, Joshua Rowe and Claire Taggart beat Slovakia 5-4 in the final.

But in the BC4 pairs event, GB lost out 4-3 to Slovakia to take away silver.

The BC3 pairs squad failed to advance from the pool stages.

Boccia facts
Boccia is derived from the ancient Italian game 'bocce' and was adapted for disabled athletes in Sweden in the 1970s.
There are four categories - BC1 players can kick or throw the ball, BC2 and BC4 players throw the ball while BC3 players use a ramp to deliver the ball
A boccia ball weighs between 263 and 287g and has a circumference of 262-278mm
Participants have impairments in all four limbs
Great Britain have won boccia medals in four of the last five summer Games

However both pairs squads will be able to qualify for Rio if their world ranking is high enough at next April's cut-off date.

The BC1/2 team featuring Smith and Murray won bronze at London 2012.

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