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DeSilva-Andrade treasures ‘awesome’ bronze

Para-athlete Yushae DeSilva-Andrade is treasuring her bronze medal at last weekend's ISFed Regional Open Championships in Montreal, the first for a Bermudian at an international boccia tournament.

DeSilva-Andrade overcame a recent injury and then had to battle a strong field to reach the semi-final in the BC2 class. DeSilva-Andrade, who represented Bermuda at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro last summer, beat Matt Hiltner of the United States 3-2 to reach the semi-finals before losing 4-3 to Canada's Tammy McLeod. The 23-year-old then beat another Canadian, Michael Mercer, in the match to decide the bronze medallist. DeSilva-Andrade won the tiebreak after the game ended 4-4.

“The level of competition was really tough because it was a lot of the top players, but getting the medal was really awesome,” she said yesterday. “I was surprised at first that I did it because I'm just coming back from an injury. I'm very proud of myself.

“My score in the semi-finals was 4-3, so I was close to getting the silver. I just missed out by one point.”

In boccia the men and women play each other, with DeSilva-Andrade beating one of the male competitors to reach the last four and then another to claim the bronze. “It's a good thing because you get to show everyone what you're capable of,” she said. “There were 30 athletes altogether but only seven in my division.

“It turned out that I was actually the top seed in the competition so I knew coming in that everyone was coming after me. It was a little bit of extra pressure but I put it to the back of my head because I wanted to do as well as I could.”

Also turning in good performances in Montreal were team-mates Omar Hayward and Steve Wilson who also advanced to the semi-finals for the first time, just missing out on bronze medals. Hayward finished fourth in the BC1 class while Wilson was fourth in the BC4 class.

Hayward lost 6-2 to Eduardo Sanchez of Mexico in his semi-final before going down 5-1 to Canadian Eric Lefebvre in the game to determine third place.

Wilson was beaten 5-1 by former world No 1, Marco Dispaltro of Canada in the semi-final before facing Alison Levine, also of Canada, for the second time in the tournament for the bronze medal, this time losing 6-1.

DeSilva-Andrade, who has been competing in boccia for about five years, will be attending two World Open tournaments this summer, in Colombia in August and then in Kansas in September.

Check it out: Yushae DeSilva-Andrade shows off her medal at the airport. Behind her is Omar Hayward, who reached the semi-final in his division (Photograph by Tucker Hall)

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Published May 05, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 05, 2017 at 1:06 am)

DeSilva-Andrade treasures ‘awesome’ bronze

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