Australia at the 2013 World Games

2013 World Games - Sport Bocce

The Games were held in Cali, the Sports capital of Colombia

 The opening and closing ceremony was held at the Pasqual Guerrero Olympic Stadium filled to its 45,000 capacity where as part of the opening celebrations they were treated to fabulous display of salsa dancing.

 Bocce was among these 36 participant sports not currently in the Olympic Games like Rugby, Karate, Softball, Sport Climbing to name a few. The Bocce events were held close to the Olympic Stadium at the Tejo Coliseum.  Australian representative, Santo Pascuzzi participated in both the Progressive Throw and Precision Throw events.

 Having trained in Melbourne's cold winter season it was a test of stamina for Santo to compete in Cali's hot 35 degree climate especially in the fast paced Progressive Throw event!  Unlike Australian clay based terrains the running surface was concrete and slightly uneven.  Athletes were only given a brief opportunity to adapt to the conditions a day prior to the competition.

 On the 29th July, tn the Progressive Throw qualification Santo was drawn as the last thrower, together with Italian Mauro Roggero, giving him an edge by knowing the scores set by previous competitors. The score to beat was 30 hits set by Argentinian Guillermo Montemerlo. Santo paced his run and scored a qualifying score of 31 hits, however Shan Fan from China was re-scheduled to run last and scored 37 to deny Australia a place in the semi-final. In the Bronze Medal match Croatia 34 defeated. China 29. The final was a nail biting draw between Italy and France with 46 hits a piece. Italy won Gold with 23 hits against Frances 21 hits in the two and a half minute playoff.

 On the 30th July in the Precision Throw event, Santo missed out in the final by one hit, with a score of 14. Luigi Grattapaglia from Italy qualified with a score of 16 and went on to win the Gold medal with 25 points. Yixin Zhang from China won the Silver with 14 points, and Thomas Allier from France won Bronze with 12 points.

 Italy topped the overall World Games medal tally with 18 Gold, 13 Silver, and 18 Bronze (49 total), followed by Russia and France.

 As Santo said, “it was a good experience to have competed in South America as a precursor to the upcoming World Bocce Senior Championships to be held in Argentina this November!”