Amagoia Arrieta conquers gold in the European boccia


The Spanish Amagoia Arrieta, an athlete from the Spanish Sports Federation for People with Cerebral Palsy and Acquired Brain Injury (FEDPC), has won this Saturday the gold medal in the BC1 category (athletes who throw with hands or feet and require an assistant) in the European boccia, which is taking place in Rotterdam (Netherlands).

Since 2011, no Spaniard was proclaimed continental champion, when Chema Dueso achieved it in Norway. The Gipuzkoan started the tournament with an unexpected defeat against the Israeli Bat-El Brightman Ha’cohen (1-4). With no margin for error, he was only worth victory in his next two commitments.

Arrieta came second in the group after beating the Portuguese Rita Patricio 10-1 and then the French Aurelie Aubert 6-0. In the semifinals, she faced the Croatian Dora Basic, number four in the world, whom she already won in the fight for bronze at the European Championships in Seville in 2021 and against whom she came back (5-4) to qualify for her first continental final.

His rival in the final was the Polish Kinga Koza, who in their last match endorsed him a 0-7 in the World Cup in Portugal last year. Koza stood at 1-3 with the fourth set to go, but paid dearly for her mistake. On the last shot, Arrieta managed to push the white ball to his, the blue ones, and after the referees counted, he added four points with which he completed a great comeback (5-3) that gave him the title.

The Spanish coach, María Valdés, highlighted Arrieta’s success. “It is one of the greatest achievements of Spanish boccia. He does not qualify directly for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, but he helps Amagoia to continue to rise in the ranking at the scoring level. He has done a great job,” she pointed out.

On the other hand, in BC3 (they need assistance and shoot through a gutter), Wafid ‘Fido’ Boucherit, who won a victory against the British Patrick Wilson (6-5) and a defeat against the Italian Mirco Garavaglia (2- 7) in group D, he lost in the quarterfinals against the Greek Grigorios Polychronidis (0-14).

Verónica Pamies was eliminated with a victory (8-4 against the Finnish Vivi Virtanen) and two defeats (0-10 with the German Christine Fink and 2-6 with the Polish Edyta Owczarz). In pairs BC3, ‘Fido’ and Pamies did not reach the semifinals due to the difference in balls in a triple tie in pool. They beat Turkey (4-3), although they lost to Portugal (3-7) and Poland (0-9).