Belfast Telegraph

Boccia: Larne woman Claire wins medal double at International Open

Will Hipwell, Reagan Stevenson and Claire Taggart at the Czech International Open.
Will Hipwell, Reagan Stevenson and Claire Taggart at the Czech International Open.

Great British Paralympian Claire Taggart has secured two medals at the Czech International Open in Prague.

The Larne woman picked up bronze in the individual games and saw silver in the team games.

In the team games, Claire and her team-mates Will Hipwell and Raegan Stevenson faced tough opposition from Slovakia in the final to secure a silver medal.

Claire then went on to face Peter Novata from Slovakia in a tough game in the femi-finals winning 3-2 and securing bronze.

The open is just two weeks ahead of the UK Boccia Championships 2019, where reigning UK BC2 Champion Taggart will once again face the best players from across the UK and battle to maintain her title.

“Securing both a silver and bronze at the Czech International Open in Prague has given me a great boost ahead of the UK Championships this month," she said. "It will be great to once again compete for the UK title but this time in my home country alongside my four team mates who have also qualified for the Championships.

“It has been a great start to 2019 with a significant personal achievement earlier in the year. I secured my first individual medal in Zagreb at the European Regional Open becoming the first person from Northern Ireland to medal at that event."

Claire competed in the 2016 Rio Paralympics and 2018 Boccia World Championships as is currently the UK Boccia Champion following her victory last year.

The next major competition for Claire will be the UK Boccia Championships 2019 in Antrim Forum on 15th and 16th June. Claire will be joined at the championships by fellow Northern Ireland players Jayne Milligan (BC4), William Graham (BC1), Scott Cromie (BC2) and Robyn McBride (BC3).

The event is free and open to any spectators to come along and see the best UK boccia players in action.

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