By David Gold

BocciaSeptember 9 - Great Britain's Boccia Federation chairman David Hadfield has hailed the 2011 Boccia World Cup as "the most successful ever".

The event, held last month at the University of Ulster, was attended by more than 500 athletes representing 33 countries, and South Korea dominated, taking the World Cup trophy as well as several individual medals.

There was also a remarkable victory for Portugal's Albilio Valente in the BS2 class against favourite Nigel Murray.

The competition was organised by the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) and held at the University's Jordanstown campus.

"The 2011 Boccia World Cup has been the most successful ever," said Hadfield.

"I have been delighted by the welcome given to the competitors and spectators by the borough of Newtownabbey and the city of Belfast."

University of Ulster vice-chancellor, Professor Richard Barnett, added: "This wonderful event will leave a lasting legacy for sport for those with disabilities by serving as a catalyst for the development of the sport in Northern Ireland and the involvement of people of all abilities in sport."

Boccia is a Paralympic sport and one of just three without a counterpart in the main Olympic Games.

Competitors take it in turns to throw balls at a white jack, with the player who gets closest in each end scoring points depending on the position of their opponent's balls.

Angela Hendra, chair of Disability Sports NI, said: "The CPISRA Boccia World Cup has been a fantastic sporting spectacle.

"This is the first time the event has been held in the British Isles and it is the largest international disability sports competition ever held in Northern Ireland."

Athletes and officials were given a special reception, hosted by Newtonabbey Mayor Billy Webb, at Mossley Mill last week.

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