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Yushae DeSilva-Andrade qualifies for Paralympic Games

Yushae DeSilva-Andrade with her gold medal at the World Boccia Cup last year

Boccia player Yushae DeSilva-Andrade will be heading to Paris this summer after officially qualifying for the Paralympic Games.

DeSilva-Andrade, who also competed at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, is thrilled to be returning to the big event.

“I’m excited to qualify for the Paralympics,” DeSilva-Andrade said.

“It’s taken so much sacrifice and so much hard work but I’m really proud of qualifying and my family are really excited for me.”

DeSilva-Andrade has improved massively in the past 12 to 18 months, regularly making it into the latter stages of big boccia events and last year won gold at the World Boccia Cup in Brazil and silver at the Para Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile.

She puts her recent success down to a combination of good coaching from Troy Farnsworth and Larry Hunt and taking a break from the sport during the recent pandemic.

“During Covid I took a rest from everything, including boccia, and I think that gave me the reset that I needed to get back into it correctly,” DeSilva-Andrade said.

“I’ve also been working with coach Larry Hunt on Tuesdays and Thursdays to fine tune things.”

The Paralympics take place in Paris after the Olympic Games, which means DeSilva-Andrade has more than two months to prepare and she will be using that time wisely.

“I’ll keep training as hard as I can and I have a competition at the beginning of July,” she said.

“I will go there and see what I have to work on for August and go from there. I’m expecting every one to bring their A game and to have some fun. It will be a great new experience to meet some great new people.

“I’m always nervous going into any event but I’m just going to try to relax and have fun. At the end of the day I’m just going to do my best as that’s all anyone asks of me.”

Coach Troy Farnsworth is proud of DeSilva-Andrade

“It’s an amazing achievement for Yushae to qualify for her second Paralympics,” he said.

“I’m really proud of the effort she has put in over the years to make it to the pinnacle of the sport once again.

“She’s continued to persevere and believe in herself and to improve her game. After hard work and a lot of dedication she has made it to the grand stage again, which is amazing.

“She deserves to be there. She had three podium finishes last year and has done extremely well, so she has a lot of confidence heading into the Paralympics.

“We really need to thank Larry Hunt, who has been working closely with Yushae and putting in the time to help prepare her for competitions, the Bermuda Paralympic Association, Boccia Bermuda, government, corporate sponsors and all the volunteers behind the scenes that have allowed Yushae to compete at these competitions. It’s a huge team effort.

Bermuda first competed at the Paralympic Games in 1996 and has competed in every one since

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Published June 06, 2024 at 7:58 am (Updated June 06, 2024 at 7:58 am)

Yushae DeSilva-Andrade qualifies for Paralympic Games

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