Belfast Telegraph

Larne star Claire Taggart achieves double boccia medal success at European Championships

Claire Taggart with the two medals she won at the European Championships
Claire Taggart with the two medals she won at the European Championships

Great British Paralympian boccia player Claire Taggart has secured more success with two medals at the recent European Regional Championships.

Taggart, from Larne, achieved a gold medal in the three-person team event while also landing a silver medal in the individual discipline.

Her team success came alongside Great Britain team-mates David Smith MBE and Reegan Stevenson, who won out in a nail-biting final against Slovakia, triumphing 4-3 to secure the title.

As well as that, Taggart was once again one of the leading lights in the BC2 Individuals event as well, making her way to the final where she met World No.17 Francis Rombouts of Belgium.

Despite a valiant effort, Claire fell to a disappointing 4-1 defeat, but her brilliant performance saw her rise up to 22nd in the world rankings, making her the third best female in her class.

Speaking of the win Claire said: "Securing both a Gold and Silver at the European Regional Open Championships has given me a great boost ahead of the European Championships in August. This is a big couple of years as qualifiers for the Paralympics in Tokyo begin and I am determined to keep the momentum going.

"I would like to thank everyone involved in the competition and my training. This is a significant personal achievement being the first Individual medal that I have secured at a BISfed event. It is also the first time that anyone from Northern Ireland has medalled at the European Regional Open.

"I would also like to thank and congratulate my BC1/2 team from GB, David Smith MBE and Reegan Stevenson. This was Reegan's debut competition and a great start to the 2019 season."

Claire competed in the 2016 Rio Paralympics and 2018 Boccia World Championships, and is currently the UK Boccia Champion following her victory last year. Her next major competition is in August 2019 at the European Championships.

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