By David Gold

Greg Polychronidis_Jacob_Thomas_05-04-12April 5 - Greg Polychronidis (pictured left) beat British boccia champion Jacob Thomas (right) on a tie breaker in a friendly game to promote the sport in his native home of Greece.

Polychronidis, a Paralympic Games silver medallist, got off to a fast start as he won the first end 2-0.

In boccia, competitors play 'ends', rounds in which they take it in turn to throw balls at a white jack, and the player who is closest wins.

They are then given a point for every ball which is closer to the jack than their opponent's nearest ball.

In this BC3 game, there were four ends, and after the second finished 1-1, Thomas had a mountain to climb.

The British BC3 champion then played a brilliant shot to knock away one of Polychronidis' balls and secure a 1-0 win in the third end, before winning the final end by the same score.

That left the two players tied and needing a tie breaker, which the Greek player won comfortably in the end to delight school children who were watching the game in Athens.

National newspapers and television crews were on hand to view the match, which was organised by the Hellenic Paralympic Committee, the Greek Muscular Dystrophy Association and the British Embassy, as well as being sponsored by Allianz.

Thomas will next week find out if he will represent Britain at this summer's Paralympics, and the 17-year-old was left to rue a poor start.

Greg Polychronidis_Jacob_Thomas_05-04-121
"If I could have got closer sooner, really, it would have been better," he said.

"On the first end, Greg had two points, he got his ball on and I couldn't move it.

"I just thought, I'm down two points, but I know I can get back level."

He did add, however, that if he makes it to London 2012 he won't be settling for anything less than the top spot.

"If I get selected [for London], I'll be going for gold," he insisted.

The 30-year-old Polychronidis added: "I was not surprised by the score because I knew he was one of the top players.

"That's why he was invited.

"If you ask me, the game was fantastic.

"We had many schoolchildren watching the game.

"That was our ambition – to show the game to children."

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