Dubbed the Ronaldo or Ronnie O’Sullivan of boccia, the flamboyant David Smith retained his Paralympic boccia title with a tense victory over his Malaysian opponent.
In 2003 he became the youngest ever British Boccia Champion, beating the-then GB captain in competition. At Beijing 2008, David entered as world number 2 but had his first negative result finishing 13th in individual competition. However, he recovered to help the BC1/BC2 team string some impressive performances together against China and Portugal to get the gold medal.
In 2012, David secured an individual ranking of 2 as he approached the London 2012 Paralympics. David got into the final in the individual event, losing an emotional match to Thailand’s Pattaya Tadtong – a long-time rival.
At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games David sported a memorable blue mohawk hairstyle as he improved on his individual performance at London 2012 and secured the gold medal with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Netherland’s Daniel Perez. Victory meant he became the joint most successful British Boccia player in history.
He currently holds the ‘triple crown’ of major tournament following his win at the 2018 World Championships in Liverpool and his 2019 gold medal at the European Championships.
David was chosen to be the flag bearer for Great Britain in the closing ceremony of the Paralympics, which he describes was an “unbelievable honour”.
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