Will Hipwell takes pride in Paralympics boccia debut in Tokyo
Will Hipwell described the culmination “of so many years’ work” after making a Paralympics debut in Tokyo.
The 34-year-old Cambridge United season ticket holder, who works for the Papworth Trust, was representing Paralympics GB in the boccia in BC2 category.
It was a tough start for Hipwell as he was pitted against Thailand’s Worawut Saengampa, the world No 1 and the BC2 world champion in 2018, and lost 16-0.
But on becoming a Paralympian, he said: “It feels really good. It’s the culmination of so many years’ work. It is a really special feeling.”
Hipwell’s second match was against the experienced Robert Mezik, of Slovakia, and he earned three points in the third end before eventually losing 6-3.
“It was a really enjoyable game because we went toe to toe with each other and to get the points back in third end and forcing a crucial final end was a really good feeling,” he said.
“Overall, it was a really good game and I ran him close so I’m pleased.”
Hipwell’s final group match was against Belgium’s Francis Rombouts. He lost 8-1, but said: “I was really pleased with the first end. I made a strong start and I kept it really tight. I nicked a point which was really good.
“I lost quite heavily in the second end which was disappointing. I nearly bounced back in the third when I got my last ball on but I wasn’t able to maximise in the last end.”
The Cambridge player now gears up to compete in the BC1/2 team event with world No 1 David Smith MBE and Claire Taggart.
“The team has been working really hard over the lockdown period,” added Hipwell.
“I’m really looking forward to teaming up with Claire and David and seeing how far we can go.”