Greece’s Boccia team won Portugal with 4-1 and managed the Gold medal in the category Boccia Mixed Pairs in London Paralympics 2012. The team consists of Maria-Eleni Kordali, Nikolaos Pananos and Grigorios Polychronidis.
The Greek pair of Nikolaos Pananos and Grigorios Polychronidis won their three sets and lost one against Portugal’s pair of Armando Costa and Luis Silva by scores of 2-0, 1-0, 1-0 and 0-1.
Greek fans entousiastically supported the team and shouted Bravo! after their shots. Following the Greek win, supporters broke out into rhythmic clapping, continued their flag waving and chanted their joy. One of the Greeks rolled his electric wheelchair around with a smile on his face and and posed for pictures.
Georgian-born Polychronidis, who has an accounting degree from the Athens University of Economics and Business, came into the games having earned a silver medal in the individual event at the Beijing Paralympics. Having spinal muscular atrophy, he took up the sport at university where he was introduced to it by George Tzimas.
At his first Paralympic Games, Pananos took up the sport competitively in 2007 and competed in both the individual and team events in London. Pananos, who has cerebral palsy and is retired, is coached by Andreas Keramidas and plays his club boccia for ASAX Eidiki Olympiada.
Boccia, which is similar to lawn bowls, was first played at the 1984 Summer Paralympics.
Finally, the fifth medal for the Greek Paralympic team came from Pavlos Mamalos who got a bronze medal in powerlifting (90K).