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Brazilian boccia player Pinto wins second gold at Paralympics
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21:26, September 12, 2008

Brailian boccia player Dirceu Pinto collected his second gold medal at the Beijing Paralympics as he and his partner overcame powerhouse Portugal in the Mixed Pairs BC4 final on the last day of the boccia competition on Friday.

He became the only player to win two boccia gold in Beijing.

In the Mixed Pairs BC4 final, Brazilian Dirceu Pinto and Eliseu Santos, gold and bronze medalists in the Mixed Individual BC4, made key throws to steer the title holder Portugal 8-1, including Fernando Pereira and Bruno Valentim, to their first Paralympic boccia team gold.

"I was happy with the first gold, now I'm more than happy. I thought it would be impossible to get another gold. I have to thank God for that," the 28-year-old Pinto told the press.

"Difficulty only makes the gold medal taste sweeter. I will keep on training to keep myself athigh level," he added.

Ladislav Kratina/Radek Prochazka of Czech Republic eased past European strong team Spain 7-3 to win the bronze medal.

In the Mixed Pairs BC3 final, Park Keon and Jeong Ho-wan of South Korea, repeated the success of their predecessors in this event four years agoin Athens as the duo swamped Yolanda Martin and Santiago Pesquera of Spian 8-1.

Portuguese duo Armando Costa and Mario Peixoto claimed the bronze by beating Thailand pair Vilasinee Sukkarath and Tanimpat Visaratanunta 4-1.

"The loss to Spain in the semifinal yesterday was a shame. We had the chance as well as the strength to fight for the gold. But now it seems to us the bronze is just equally satisfying," said Portugueses coach Maria Silvia Bastos.

"Our staying in Beijing has been a wonderful journey. It's nice to have people clapping for you during the games, it's nice to enjoy the perfect conditions in the venue and the Paralympic Village," she added.

"I've been to every Paralympics since the 1984 New York Games, and this time in Beijing I had the most fun."

The Mixed Team BC1/2 defending champion Portugal failed to challenge Britain in the final, lost to the top world ranked team 8-4.

Earlier in the day, Spain edged China 5-4 to clinch the bronze medal.

Boccia is a ball tossing game where points are awarded for accuracy. It is played in 42 countries and regions and is governed by the International Boccia Committee (IBC), under the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association.

Boccia competition, slated for Sept. 7-12 at the Beijing Paralympics, attracted 88 players including 62 men and 26 women from 20 countries and regions.


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