By Gary Anderson

October 22 - Daniel Michel is one of five Australian athletes poised for the quarter-finals at the Asia Oceania Boccia Championships in SydneyAfter two days play at the Asia Oceania Boccia Championships in the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, five Australian players are in prime position to make the quarter-final stages of the Rio 2016 qualifying tournament.

The Aussie charge is being lead by Jason Liukuey, who made it three wins from three in the BC2 class with wins over Hong Kong's 2008 Paralympic champion Karen Kwok and Hiu Lam Yeung, followed by victory over Matthew Whiting of New Zealand in Pool C.

Liukuey's 100 per cent record is matched only by fellow BC2 competitors, China's double London 2012 silver medallist Zhiqiang Yan  and Thai pair Watcharaphon Vongsa and Mongkol Jitsa-Ngiem, who all look set to join the Australian in the quarter-final stages.

The 30-year-old from Queensland, who began playing boccia only last year, is one five Australians primed to make into the knockout stages of the biggest gathering of top level boccia players Down Under since Sydney 2000.

Daniel Michel and Tait Jenkins secured vital wins over New Zealander Anthea Hurst and Thailand's Chanatcha Soontornphor respectively in the BC3 class to leave them well placed to progress in the competition with a couple of pool matches remaining.

They will be hoping to be joined by Gavin Thorneycroft, who made it two wins from two outings following his victory over teammate Angie McReynolds, having earlier overcome Thailand's Suraphol Chandee.

Beijing 2008 champion Karen Kwok of Hong Kong was one of three players to lose out to Australian Jason LiukueyBeijing 2008 champion Karen Kwok of Hong Kong was one of three players to lose out to Australian Jason Liukuey

Despite suffering a heavy 10-0 loss to China's Yuansen Zheng, international debutant Jean-Paul La Fontaine recovered to post wins against Japan's Akira Kinoshita and compatriot Dean Nottle to leave him within touching distance of the quarter-finals in the BC4 competition.

"We have all worked very hard on the team's processes, and worked hard on how we prepared each individual athlete," said Australian Boccia head coach Peter King.

"We have put a lot of resources into simulating this tournament exactly, and that seems to be paying off.

"The benefit of our preparation is actually most evident when you look at what is not happening here.

"Everybody in our team is cool and calm and doing the right things at the right time.

"That is a very good sign.

"I'm feeling pretty content with how things are going at the moment."

The action continues in Sydney with the remaining pool matches taking place tomorrow followed by the knockout stages which are due to run through until the finals on Saturday (October 26).

To view live online action of the final three days 2013 Asia Oceania Boccia Championships click here.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related Stories
October 2013: 
Asia and Oceania Boccia Championships set to get underway at Sydney Olympic Park
June 2013: Asia Oceania Boccia Championships to be streamed live on internet
February 2013: Sydney to host 2013 Asia Oceania Boccia Championships