Lo Espejo and Santiago 2023 launch the Boccia Challenger on the road to the Parapan American Games

The competition, a test event for the major event, brings together athletes from 13 countries who will compete for Olympic ranking points.

From this Tuesday until Sunday, the Centro Deportivo Comunitario de Lo Espejo will be the world boccia epicenter with the World Boccia Challenger, a competition chosen as a test event for the Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games, with such event different functional areas of the organizing committee will be activated.

The tournament brings together 63 athletes from Chile, Brazil, El Salvador, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Slovakia, and Ecuador, who will seek to score ranking points towards the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

The opening ceremony was held on Monday with all the delegations already present in the country and the presence of important authorities.

Among them was the Chief Executive Officer of Santiago 2023, Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who highlighted the opportunity to evaluate the operation on the field. “This is what these tests are for, so that those things that can go better, we can improve them, and those that have already gone well, we can keep them. It’s a matter of gathering the experience of athletes, coaches, delegations, and authorities of the municipality to see how this can be perfect during the Games. Our great goal is that in all sports everything goes brilliantly," he expressed.

In addition, the mayor of Lo Espejo, Javiera Reyes, said that “here in Lo Espejo boccia is played and we want everyone to be part of this event, because it seems to us that it’s part of building a fairer Chile that we can all have access to events as important as the Pan American and Parapan American Games.”

Slovakian Samuel Andrejcik, double gold medalist in Tokyo 2020, is one of the most distinguished participants of the challenger in Lo Espejo (picture by: Jonnathan Oyarzun/Photosport).


The boccia Team Para Chile is headed by coach Francisco Olmos and is in full preparation to host the Parapan American Games at the same venue, taking the challenger as an opportunity to add experience and growth.

The Boccia athlete, Alfonsina Urrejola (BC4 category), said that “I’m very proud to represent the country in my first international event, and I’m also anxious to meet all the participants, because we’ll be competing against the best in the world.”

Along the same lines, her teammate Leonel Arellano (same category) affirmed that "the level is very strong, but we’re preparing for it. Our sights are set on the long term, in Santiago 2023, so we’re taking this as a preparation and see how far we can go".

Among the participants in the international tournament are Slovakia's Samuel Andrejcik, double gold medalist in Tokyo 2020, and the world top ten in different categories: Eduardo Sánchez and Dubier Paredes (Mexico); Ailén Flores and Luis Cristaldo (Argentina); Yushae Andrade (Bermuda); Rebeca Duarte (El Salvador); Kristyn Collins, Iulian Ciobanu and Alison Levine (Canada), and Euclides Grisales, Edilson Chica and Leidy Chica (Colombia).

The tournament is a test event for the Parapan American Games. In the picture, the Chief Executive Officer of Santiago 2023, Harold Mayne-Nicholls, greets the staff mobilized at the competition venue (picture by: Jonnathan Oyarzun/Photosport).

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