BOCCIA / Japan guaranteed 1st medal

Motoki Nakashima/The Yomiuri Shimbun

Takayuki Hirose, left, Yuriko Fujii, center, and Hidetaka Sugimura react after winning their boccia semifinal against Portugal at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics on Sunday.

The Yomiuri Shimbun RIO DE JANEIRO — Japan is guaranteed at least the silver medal in mixed team boccia (see below) with cerebral palsy, after winning its semifinal 8-5 against Portugal at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics on Sunday.

This is the first time for Japan to secure a medal in the sport.

Meanwhile, Masayuki Higuchi, 37, finished fourth in the men’s 5,000-meter wheelchair race on Sunday, while Yukako Hata, 35, placed sixth in the women’s race for ambulant paratriathletes.

Keichi Nakajima, 17, finished sixth in the men’s 200-meter freestyle for swimmers with intellectual impairment.

On Saturday, Kento Masaki won the bronze medal in the men’s over-100-kilogram division in judo, which is open to people with visual impairments. The 29-year-old judoka won the gold medal four years ago in London.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Kento Masaki shows his judo bronze on Saturday.

■ Boccia

Meaning “ball” in Italian, this sport has men and women compete together in individual, pair and team events, with the team event played by three members on each side. One side uses blue balls and the other red. The match begins with throwing a white “jack” target ball, toward which each team throws six balls as close as possible. A team earns one point for every ball that comes closer to the jack than the best of their opponent’s balls. One match consists of four to six rounds, and the team with a higher point total at the end wins.Speech

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