By David Gold at the Basketball Arena on the Olympic Park in London

Boccia 7_MayMay 7 - Great Britain enjoyed a highly successful London Boccia Invitational 2012, with the mixed BC3 pair team of Jess Hunter and Jacob Thomas defeating their Greek opponents to claim victory here today.

It was the hosts' third gold of the event, with David Smith (pictured bottom, right) beating South Korea's Ji Kwang-Min in the mixed individual BC1, and Nigel Murray (pictured bottom, left) overcoming another Korean, So-Yeong Jeong, in the mixed individual BC2.

Also claiming a top step on the podium was Greece's Grigorios Polychronidis who overcame Portuguese José Carlos Macedo in the mixed individual BC3 on a tie-break following a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Britain claimed bronze in that discipline with Thomas (pictured below) getting the better of Kirsten De Laender of Belgium, also after a tie-break, following a gripping encounter that had ended 5-5.

Jacob Thomas_7_May"We're absolutely delighted with three golds and medalling in all the categories," Mark Hammond, Britain's boccia performance director, told insideworldparasport.

"Now we have to fine tune and get things moving again for a few months' time, but I am pretty happy.

"Competing in front of a home crowd... it makes a tremendous difference and I think the crowd at the ExCeL centre [venue for boccia at the Paralympic Games] will make an enormous difference.

"We are hoping for between two to four medals, so if we do this in three months' time we will be very happy."

Thomas and Hunter defeated Polychronidis and compatriot Nikolaos Pananos resoundingly as they dominated from the off.

After the first end the Britons were 1-0 up and significantly turned up the heat in the second to add a further four points to their tally.

Another 1-0 win in the third end all but ended the Greek pair's chances, and although Polychronidis and Pananos pulled back a point in the final end, Britain claimed a 6-1 win.

Bronze went to Belgium, victorious in all its pool games prior to the knockout rounds, which easily brushed aside Canada 6-0.

Boccia GB_7_May
South Korea, the dominant force in last year's World Cup, edged out Portugal in a closely fought gold-medal match in the mixed team BC1-2.

Fernando Ferreira, João Paulo Fernandes and Abilio Valente were in superb form as they raced into a 6-2 lead after four of the six ends against Jeong-Min Sohn, Kwang-Min Ji and So-Yeong Jeong.

However, the South Koreans proved their world class by storming back into contention, winning the final two ends 2-0 and 3-0, respectively, to edge an absorbing contest 7-6.

Britain claimed another medal, this time bronze, in the mixed team BC1-2 third-place play-off, soundly defeating Hong Kong 11-4.

Boccia made its Paralympic Games debut in 1984 when the competition was hosted jointly by New York in the United States and Stoke Mandeville in England.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
April 2012: Three sets of brothers included in latest ParalympicsGB selection list
April 2012: Greece's Polychronidis beats British boccia champion Thomas in friendly
October 2011: Superb Smith leads Britain to four medals at Boccia Europa Cup in Norway
August 2011: Nine medals for nine nations at Boccia World Cup
August 2011: Bentley is confident of increasing his medal tally