Boccia champion David Smith named flagbearer for closing ceremony

Boccia champion David Smith has been selected as ParalympicsGB’s flagbearer for Sunday’s closing ceremony of the Tokyo Games.

Smith retained his BC1 individual title on Wednesday to claim his fifth Paralympic medal after beating Malaysia’s Chew Wei Lun 4-2 in the final.

In the process, the 32-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, surpassed his mentor and former team-mate Nigel Murray as Britain’s most successful player in the sport.

Smith retained his BC1 individual title to claim his fifth Paralympic medal. Credit: PA

“It is an unbelievable honour to be leading out the ParalympicsGB team at the Paralympic Games closing ceremony,” said Smith.

“Not only am I representing the sport that I love, but the wider ParalympicsGB team too.

“I am proud to be the face of the athletes that are here, and also those who have already returned home.

“I have received so much support over these last 12 days, this honour is for every one of them – athletes, support staff and British fans alike.”

Smith, who sports a distinctive red and blue mohawk, won his first Paralympic title in the BC1-2 team event at Beijing 2008.

Four years later at London 2012, he claimed individual BC1 silver as well as BC1-2 team bronze, before securing his first individual title in Rio, and then successfully defending it in Japan.

GB chef de mission Penny Briscoe said: “Not only has David proved that once again he is a champion on the court, he is the most wonderful ambassador for the sport of boccia, for our entire team and for the Paralympic movement too.

“He truly represents the spirit of the Games.”