Day 10 Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Recap

Curtis McGrath won gold in the Men's Kayak Single 200m KL2 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. (Photo: Paralympics Australia)

Australia gained more medals on Day 10 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics as some events finished up for another year while a new record was set for the number of medalling nations at the Games.

Heading towards the end of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, on Day 10, Australia added a couple more medals to its tally while at the same time setting itself up for more podium finishes. The curtains have closed and the final medals have been awarded in many sports and disciplines as a new Paralympic Record is set for most nations to medal at a single Games.

Medal Tally

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Lanes close as swimming at Tokyo concludes with an Aussie win

It was the final day of swimming for this year’s Paralympic Games and Australia was represented in four of the 16 medal events to end the competition in the pool at Tokyo 2020.

Australia’s efforts in the pool began in the morning when Col Pearse qualified for the Men’s 200m IM SM10 Final, finishing second in his heat in a time of 2:17.41 seconds. Although he bettered his time from the heat, Pearce completed his Final swim in 2:14.20 seconds, however, it wasn’t enough for a medal, just missing out with a fourth-place finish.

Two Australians made the Women’s 200m IM SM10 Final, Jasmine Greenwood and Keira Stephens though neither found the podium, finishing fifth and eighth respectively. The Netherlands’ Chantalle Zijdeveld claimed gold with a World Record time of 2:24.85, beating Australian Sophie Pascoe’s record set at Rio 2016 by 0.05 seconds.

Braeden Jason made the Men’s 100m Butterfly S12 Final after a 59.58-second swim in his heat earlier in the day. When it came to the Final, Jason, although improving on his time from earlier, swimming in 59.01 seconds, finished sixth overall.

Australia’s 4x100m Medley – 34 points team that consisted of Timothy Hodge, Blake Cochrane, William Martin and Ben Popham qualified for the Final, finishing second in their respective heat. Changing one member of the team for the Final, Timothy Disken replaced Cochrane and during the race, the Australians had to make up a start where they were behind the leaders.

Disken and Martin got the team into a podium position before Popham, as the final swimmer, made up some more ground, touching the wall second behind the RPC, giving Australia a silver medal.

In other notable results in the pool, Canada’s Danielle Dorris broke the Women’s 50m Butterfly S7 World Record by 0.30 seconds in her heat, finishing the race in a total time of 33.51 seconds. She went on to win gold in the Final and break the World Record again, this time falling under 33.00 seconds, the new benchmark now 32.99 seconds for the event.

Arnost Petracek of the Czech Republic set a new Paralympic Record in the Men’s 50m Backstroke S4, improving on a record which was held since Beijing 2008. The 41.75-second race was only 0.25 seconds shy of the World Record, which was broken in the Final but not by Petracek. The Czech had to settle for silver as Roman Zhadnov of the RPC blitzed his own World Record with a new time of 40.99 seconds.

Liu Yu set a new World Record in the Women’s 50m Backstroke S4, completing the race in 45.81 seconds. She set the field alight in the heat, just as she did later in the Final too, finishing 3.74 seconds in front of her nearest rival but more impressively, again set a new World Record time of 44.68 seconds.

Li Guizhi achieved a Paralympic Record – that was previously set in London 2012 – in the Women’s 100m Freestyle S11 heat, clocking in a time of 1:05.92 seconds. Li went on to win gold in the final, improving her Paralympic Record time once more, finishing in 1:05.87 seconds.

Australia rolls out of Boccia Pairs pool stages

Australia has narrowly missed out on progressing to the semi-finals in Boccia’s Pairs BC3 event, finishing the pool stages outside of the top two after a tiebreak loss against Hong Kong.

It all came down to the final group stage games of the night where four nations in Pool B were tied with a 2-1 record. With only two spots up for grabs to qualify to the next phase, Australia was one unlucky nation but the players certainly gave it their all.

Jamieson Leeson, Spencer Cotie and Daniel Michel represented Australia in the pairs event, and after a 3-2 loss to Japan yesterday to begin their competition, back-to-back wins against Portugal (4-3) and Brazil (5-2) saw the Aussies in with a chance.

In the final match of the day, Hong Kong got out to a 2-1 lead after two ends but Australia edged ahead with a two-point third end score. Australia couldn’t hold onto the lead as Hong Kong dragged a point back to make the scores even, hitting the front once more in the tiebreak situation to extend its record to 3-1 and keep its Tokyo 2020 gold medal dream alive.

Japan was the other nation to finish inside the top two in Pool B, whereas from Pool A, Greece and Korea were the two nations that moved on from the pool stages. On Day 11, the semi-final matchups have Greece and Tokyo contesting against each other while Hong Kong and Korea will do battle for a spot in the gold medal game.

The Sprint towards canoeing medals

Australia found success in the Canoe Sprint today, with Susan Seipel winning silver in the Women’s Va’a Single 200m VL2 Final A and Curtis McGrath coming away with gold in the Men’s Kayak Single 200m KL2 Final A.

Seipel qualified for Final A after a first-place finish in the heat, recording a time of 1:02.840 seconds. In the Final, Seipel recorded a better time (1:01.481 seconds), though it wasn’t enough to beat Great Britain’s Emma Wiggs who claimed a Paralympic Record with a time of 57.028, beating her previous best from her heat on Day 9.

For McGrath, he defended his Rio 2016 gold medal in the same event but had to do it the hard way this time around, unable to advance directly from the heat to the Final.

Taking to the kayak for the semi-final, McGrath set a new Paralympic Record with a time of 41.134 seconds, that itself a better time than his own previously-set Paralympic Record from Rio. McGrath found the finish line in the Final in 41.426 seconds to win back-to-back gold medals in the event.

Both Seipel and McGrath still have events on during Day 11 of competition, Seipel competing in the Women’s Kayak Single 200m KL2 semi-final while McGrath goes for gold again in the Men’s Va’a Single 200m VL3 Final.

Wheeling out the bikes for one last race

There were four medal events on Day 10 to see out the road cycling for Tokyo 2020, with Australian Paige Greco, who won the first gold medal of the Games in the Women’s C1-3 3000m Individual Pursuit, competing in the Women’s C1-3 Road Race.

In a 39.6km race, Greco was positioned in sixth place at the first intermediate point (13.2km) before working her way into second place at the second intermediate point situated 26.4km into the race.

Throughout the final third of the race, Greco kept the pace at the front of the pack and after Japan’s Sugiura Keiko was too far in front in first place, the Australian was fighting for silver at best. A final sprint after the last turn had Greco and Sweden’s Anna Beck neck-and-neck, a photo finish needing to be called to determine silver and bronze placings.

Greco and Beck each finished 16 seconds behind Sugiura, however it was judged that the Swede would win silver, leading to the Aussie to receive bronze.

Greco has won a medal in each of her three events in Tokyo after gold in the Women’s C1-3 3000m Individual Pursuit and bronze in the Women’s C1-3 Time Trial.

Kevin le Cunff of France won gold in the Men’s C4-5 Road Race, finishing in a time of 2:14.49. Ukraine’s Yehor Dementyev won silver and bronze was awarded to Daniel Abraham Gebru of the Netherlands.

In the Women’s B Road Race, Ireland’s Katie-George Dunlevy (piloted by Eve McCrystal) won gold in a time of 2:35.53 where silver was also decided in a photo finish after Great Britain’s Sophie Unwin (piloted by Jenny Holl) and Sweden’s Louise Jannering (piloted by Anna Svaerdstroem) each crossing the line in a time of 2:36.00.

In the Women’s B Road Race, the Netherlands held the top two positions on the podium with Vincent ter Schure (piloted by Timo Fransen) finishing in a position for gold and Tristan Bangma (piloted by Patrick Bos) came second and won silver. Alexandre Lloveras (piloted by Corentin Ermenault) finished the race in third and was awarded bronze.

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Aussies served losses in the Table Tennis

Australia was involved in the Women’s and Men’s Team Class 9-10 Gold Medal Matches on Day 10, though only won silver in both sides of the draw.

In the morning, the women’s team made up of Singles C10 and C9 gold medallists Yang Qian and Lei Li Na, and Melissa Tapper fell to Poland.

Yang and Lei started the first match against Natalia Partyka and Karolina Pek though lost 3-2, the fifth going down to the wire, ending 11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9. Yang then lost the second match 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-5) against Partyka, thus forfeiting the need for a third match.

In the evening, the men’s team included Singles Class 9 silver medallist Ma Lin and Joel Coughlan however they too couldn’t get the job done against China who defended its Rio 2016 gold medal.

In the first game, the two Australians came up against Lian Hao and Zhao Yi Qing though lost 3-0 (11-3, 11-6, 11-9). The second match saw Ma and Lian face each other, though it was the same 3-0 game win to the Chinese player, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6, the third match was not needed as a result was achieved.

In other Table Tennis results, in the Women’s Team Class 4-5 event, China managed to hold on for a 2-1 win over Sweden in the Women’s Team Class 4-5. It was China’s sixth consecutive gold medal finish in the event, going back to Sydney 2000.

China also prevailed 2-0 in the Men’s Team Class 6-7 against Great Britain while France made it back-to-back gold medal wins in Men’s Team Class 1-2 with a 2-0 victory against Korea.

Chance for Aussie Athletics medals on Day 11

While Australia didn’t win any medals on the athletics track or field on Day 10, through respective heats, there remains plenty of chances for more medals on the penultimate day of Tokyo 2020.

Fresh off a gold medal in the Men’s 400m T36, James Turner set a new Paralympic Record in the Men’s 100m T36 heat. His time of 11.87 seconds was an improvement of 0.20 seconds from the previous record set in Rio and perhaps unluckily for the other two competitors in the heat, they all fell below that previous-best time too, all within 0.04 seconds of Turner.

Rhett McCracken qualified for the Men’s 800m T34 Final after finishing third in the heat, claiming a season-best time of 1:48.09 seconds. He’ll be aiming to go one better than his silver medal in the Men’s 100m T34 earlier in the week when he goes for gold.

Rhiannon Clarke set a Oceania Record and a personal best in the Women’s 400m T38, finishing fourth in the heat with a time of 1:02.65 that was enough to see her qualify for the Final. The silver medallist in the Women’s 100m 38 from the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Clarke will be going for Paralympic gold tomorrow night.

Among other notable instances in the day’s athletics action, three Paralympic Records were broken throughout the Women’s 100m T64 Final.

T64 class gold medallist Marlene van Gansewinkel of the Netherlands finishing in 12.78 seconds. Germany’s Irmgard Bensusan set the Paralympic Record as a T44 class athlete, finishing the race in 12.89 seconds for silver. Fourth-placed Fleur Jong of the Netherlands has the Paralympic Record among the T62 class with a time of 13.10 seconds.

A Paralympic Record… of medalling nations

When Pakistan’s Haider Ali won gold in the Men’s Discus Throw F37 Final, it signified the 84th nation/NPC of this year’s Paralympic Games to finish on the podium and win a medal.

The previous-best tally of countries to medal was set at Rio 2016 where 83 different nations celebrated a gold, silver or bronze.

Ali, with his fifth throw of six attempts in the discus, set a new personal best of 55.26m. It was a distance that travelled 2.83m further than silver medallist Mykola Zhabnyak of Ukraine. Joao Victor Teixiera de Souza Silva of Brazil ended the event in third place.

The gold medal was Pakistan’s first in its eight Paralympic appearances, having only secured a silver at Beijing 2008 and bronze at Rio 2016 previously. Both of those medals were won by Ali also, in the Men’s Long Jump F37/38 and Men’s Long Jump T37 respectively, Ali continuing to be the only medallist in Pakistan’s Paralympic history.

Host nation makes history in Wheelchair Basketball

Host nation Japan has qualified for its first Wheelchair Basketball gold medal match with an emphatic 79-68 win over Great Britain in the semi-final. A huge 27-20 fourth quarter gave Japan the edge after trailing 15-23 after the first 10 minutes of play.

Chokai Renshi and Kozai Hiroaki lead from the front with 20 and 17 points each, respectively although Gaz Choudhry of Great Britain top-scored with 26 points.

China will face the United States in the gold medal game, after the United States cruised to a 66-52 win over Spain in the other semi-final of the night.

A 24-8 second quarter from the United States took the game away from Spain, despite a tried fightback in the fourth quarter. Brian Bell top-scored for the game with 20 points.

China and the United States will contest for gold on Day 11 following the bronze medal game between Spain and Great Britain.

The acing on the cake for Wheelchair Tennis winners

The Wheelchair Tennis medal matches continued today with Niels Vink of the Netherlands and Koji Sugeno of Japan the first on court in a quest for Quad Singles bronze. It was a straight-sets victory for Niels, winning 6-1, 6-4 as Sugeno succumbed to too many unforced errors as Niels was efficient with the backhand.

The next match to be played was the Men’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match between Kunieda Shingo and Sanada Takashi of Japan and Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers of the Netherlands. The Dutch duo won in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 as they converted seven of eight breaks points and were efficient in winning points on serve and on the return shots.

The first game of the day that needed three sets to decide the outcome of the match, Great Britain pair Alfie Hewitt and Gordon Reid came up against Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer of France in the Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match. The French pair won 2-1 (7-5, 0-6, 7-6), the Great Britain pair committing more errors despite each side’s total points won sitting at 106.

Following that match, Great Britain’s Jordanne Whiley and the Netherlands’ Aniek van Koot were involved in a hard-fought three-set match, Whiley prevailing 2-1 (6-4, 6-7, 6-4) to win Women’s Singles bronze. Whiley sent down six aces across the match and despite posting more errors, her forehand held too much power for the Dutchwoman.

The final game of the day saw the Netherlands’ Diedre de Groot come up against Japan’s Kamiji Yui to play for gold in the Women’s Singles. de Groot won in two sets (6-3, 7-6) as her backhand was too much for Kamiji to handle.

De Groot is now a US Open title away from a Golden Slam and could be the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win all four majors and Olympic/Paralympic gold in the one calendar year.

Goalball golds for Turkey and Brazil

Goalball came to an end for another Paralympic campaign with the Men’s and Women’s competitions wrapping up with high blow out in the two gold medal games.

Earlier in the day, the women’s bronze medal match was contested between Brazil and Japan, the host nation dominating from the outset to lead 5-0 after one half. Brazil kept the game on even terms in the second half, each side just scoring one goal, leading to a 6-1 Japanese bronze medal win.

The two women’s teams contesting for gold where the United States and Turkey, and the Rio 2016 gold medallists Turkey defended its title with a 9-2 victory. Strong performers from the very start, Turkey held a 6-1 lead after the first half of the game, extending that margin as the game carried onto the final buzzer. Sevda Altunoluk scored each of the nine goals for Turkey – eight from general play and one penalty shot – in a dominant individual display.

The United States and Lithuania battled for bronze in the men’s event, the latter nation backing up a Rio 2016 gold medal result with a bronze medal in Tokyo. Lithuania won 10-7 in the end but it was due to a high-scoring second half as the score after the first 12 minutes 3-2 to the eventual winners.

Ending the goalball tournament in Tokyo was men’s teams China and Brazil where, after silver and bronze in the previous two Paralympic Games, Brazil finally clinched a maiden gold medal in the sport. A 2-0 scoreline after one half, Brazil took the game away from its opponents across the final 12 minutes to finish 7-2 victors. Josemarcio Sousa and Leomon Moreno each scored three goals for Brazil.

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